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Majid Al Futtaim Properties reports healthy profit increase

Majid Al Futtaim Properties, a unit of the Dubai-based conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim, posted a 29.6 per cent increase in net profit last year thanks to a valuation gain on land and buildings, and lower fin­ance costs.

MAF Properties’ net profit rose to about Dh3.5 billion last year from about Dh2.7bn a year earlier, the company said. Revenue increased to Dh4bn from Dh3.85bn a year earlier.

The properties division’s net valuation gain on land and building reached Dh1.74bn last year compared with Dh1.2bn a year earlier. Net finance costs fell to Dh267 million last year from Dh314m a year earlier.

Both the property and retail sectors have come under pressure amid faltering consumer demand and a strong US dollar, to which the UAE currency is pegged.

Its parent company Majid Al Futtaim posted a 6 per cent increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) to Dh3.8 bn last year from Dh3.6bn in 2014 as the con­glomerate continued to invest in Dubai and boosted its interests in Oman and Egypt. Group revenue grew 9.2 per cent to Dh27.3bn last year from Dh25bn a year earlier.

The conglomerate said last year it planned to double in size within five years as it boosts investments across the Arabian Gulf and Egypt.

The group, which operates Mall of the Emirates, plans to expand in Africa, with a focus on eastern and southern nations. MAF, which has exclusive rights to the Carrefour supermarket franchise in 38 markets across the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, plans to establish its first outlet in Sub-Saharan Africa in Kenya this year.

MAF is bullish about Egypt, having announced last year its plan to increase investment in the North African country to 22.5bn Egyptian pounds (Dh9.28bn) from 18bn pounds.

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