Dubai’s Emaar Properties sees Q4 profit dip amid higher costs

Dubai’s residential property market shows few signs of bouncing back quickly from a now three-year downturn

Emaar Properties reported a 16 per cent slide in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday as costs weighted on Dubai’s largest listed developer.

Emaar’s weak performance follows results from fellow developer Damac Properties earlier, which showed a nearly 47 percent plunge in net profit for the quarter.

Read: Dubai property firm Damac sees Q4 profit dip 47%

Rising supply from new developments and modest demand dragged down property prices in Dubai last year.

Emaar raised $1.3bn in November when it sold a 20 per cent stake, or 800 million shares, in a listing of unit Emaar Development.

Read: Dubai’s Emaar Properties to raise $1.3bn in development unit IPO

Net profit for Emaar Properties dipped 16 per cent from the same period of last year to Dhs1.36bn ($370.3m) in the fourth quarter.

Dubai’s residential property market shows few signs of bouncing back quickly from a now three-year downturn, National Bank of Kuwait said in its economic update earlier this month.

Prices are down 16-19 per cent from their peaks of over three years ago, the report said.

Revenue for Emaar Properties rose 21 per cent to Dhs5.36bn in the quarter.

But a 32 per cent climb in cost of revenues and a 14 per cent rise in selling, marketing and general expenses weighed on the results.

Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said last week he was worried about 2019 and would prefer to keep debt levels “reasonable.” He did not elaborate.

Emaar Development reported this month a 30 per cent increase in 2017 profit to Dhs2.74bn. Emaar Malls, another unit, reported a 27 per cent rise in fourth quarter profit to Dhs574m.

Emaar Properties is part of a joint-venture building The Tower in Dubai, which it has said would be the world’s tallest tower, outdoing the more than 160-storey Burj Khalifa, built by the developer.

Read: Emaar completes foundation of new tallest tower in Dubai

The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour is scheduled to be completed in 2020.