UPDATE 2-UAE's Aldar Q4 profits rise on government projects

Mon Feb 4, 2013 7:18am EST

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* Q4 net profit 239 mln dirhams vs 182.1 mln dirhams

* Full-year revenue 11.4 bln dirhams vs 6.7 bln dirhams yr-ago

* Provisions, write-offs for 2012 fall to 1.1 bln dirhams (Reacasts, updates with official figures provided by company)

By Praveen Menon

DUBAI, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi's Aldar Properties posted a 31 percent rise in quarterly profit on Monday, buoyed by the completion of more government projects and lower provisions.

Aldar, Abu Dhabi's largest developer by market value, was hit by a real estate market collapse in the emirate and rescued with government aid of over $10 billion. In return, it sold assets to the government including the Ferrari World Theme Park.

The company agreed a state-backed merger with rival Sorouh Real Estate last month to help them weather a downturn in which property prices have more than halved since 2008.

Aldar said fourth-quarter net profit was 239 million dirhams ($65.07 million) compared with 182.1 million dirhams last year.

Two analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast profit of 323 million dirhams and 572.5 million dirhams.

Another 15,000 units are expected to enter Abu Dhabi's already oversupplied real estate market this year, property consultancy CBRE has said.

The government continues to support the firm by awarding state housing projects in the emirate. Aldar handed over 1,457 units at its Al Falah development last year, the largest state housing programme in Abu Dhabi. It also sold 102 units in 2012 including 38 in the final quarter for 352.9 dirhams million.

Revenue for 2012 nearly doubled to 11.4 billion dirhams from 6.7 billion dirhams a year ago, driven by government housing projects, Aldar said in a statement on the Abu Dhabi bourse.

The developer booked 1.1 billion dirhams in provisions for impairments, write-offs and fair value losses on investment properties in 2012, much less than the 3 billion dirhams booked in 2011.

Net profit for 2012 doubled to 1.3 billion dirhams from 642.5 million dirhams in the prior year period.

Shareholders will vote on the proposed merger with Sorouh on Feb. 21 and the deal is slated to close in June. Sorouh shareholders would get 1.288 Aldar shares for every share they own and the smaller firm will be delisted. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirhams) (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Dinesh Nair and Tom Pfeiffer)

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