Qatari property company reports drop in 2008 net profit and sees shares fall more than 6 per cent.
Qatar's Barwa 2008 profit falls
Qatar's Barwa Real Estate Company reported a 41.5 per cent drop in 2008 net profit to 310 million riyals (US$85.14m) as it lost money on the value of properties, sending its shares down more than 6 per cent. The developer's earnings per share last year fell to 1.46 riyals from 2.49 riyals a year earlier, it said in a statement on the Doha bourse website. Barwa's 2007 profit was 529.7m riyals. In a separate statement, Barwa said it had booked a loss of 109m riyals "on appraisal of investment properties" last year. Staff costs and general expenses also rose, it said. "2009 will be full of challenges in light of the global financial crisis," Barwa chairman Saad al-Saad said in the statement. The stock fell as much as 7.3 per cent in early trading. Based on the full-year data, Barwa's net profit in the fourth quarter was about 11m riyals, according to Reuters calculations based on nine-month 2008 profit of 299m riyals released by the company. That would be down about 95 per cent from the year-earlier quarter, when it earned about 204m riyals. In January, Qatar's government ordered Barwa, an affiliate of state-owned Qatari Diar, to merge with Qatar Real Estate Investment Co. * Reuters