x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Tough decisions ahead for Shuaa Capital as it battles to halt losses

Change at the top and job cuts hit Shuaa Capital as the financial services company posts a bigger than expected loss for the first quarter.

After a collapse in revenues saw Shuaa Capital end the first quarter in the red, the company has announced plans to cut 10 per cent of the company's workforce and replace its chairman in an attempt to turn around the fortunes of the financial services company.

Shuaa Capital reported a loss of Dh26.3m for the quarter, compared with profits of Dh19.4m for the same period last year. Analysts had expected Shuaa to report a loss of Dh5.8m.

The loss was driven by a fall in revenues of 55.4 per cent to Dh27.1m, which the company attributed to the political turmoil seen in the Middle East during the first three months of the year.

The company spelt out plans to cut costs and revive revenues across its business alongside its earnings release, announcing 39 layoffs, equivalent to 10.7 per cent of its workforce.

Shuaa's plan is hoped to make savings of more than Dh30m per year.

Sameer Al Ansari, chief executive officer of Shuaa Capital, said: "While we have made significant operational improvements over the last year we have had to take further tough decisions to ensure that even in the most challenging environment Shuaa can be profitable. "With many of our competitors either exiting business lines or reducing their capability we see an opportunity to build market share across our core businesses and as such are implementing a revenue enhancement plan to exploit our many advantages."

Shuaa also appointed Sheikh Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum as chairman, replacing Majid Al Ghurair. Sheikh Maktoum is currently chairman of Dubai International Holding Company and president of Al Fajer Properties.

Shuaa is also aiming to implement a plan to boost revenues through new services and product lines. "This may also include acquisitions to take advantage of consolidation opportunities," the company added.