UPDATE 1-Dubai contractor Arabtec's Q2 profit beats forecasts
* Q2 net profit 92.4 mln dirhams; beats forecasts
* Co says Q2 revenue 1.6 bln dirhams
* Says JV with Samsung Engineering still being finalised (Adds details, CEO comments)
DUBAI, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Dubai contractor Arabtec , which raised over $650 million in a rights issue in July, swung to a second-quarter profit on Thursday helped by growth in its key markets and expense reductions.
Arabtec, which is building a branch of France's Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi, made a second-quarter net profit of 92.4 million dirhams ($25.16 million), compared with a loss of 11.6 million dirhams in the corresponding period in 2012, it said in a bourse statement on Thursday.
The earnings beat average estimate of five analysts polled by Reuters who expected a quarterly profit of 51.5 million dirhams.
"Our businesses have delivered a strong performance in the first half of 2013, particularly in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia," said Hasan Ismaik, newly-appointed chief executive of Arabtec Holding.
The contractor said selling, general and administrative expenses dropped by 29 percent in the second quarter.
Arabtec has won a series of contracts this year, especially in oil-rich Abu Dhabi where its top shareholder and state investment firm Aabar is based.
It also won new contracts in Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and has an order backlog of 24.4 billion dirhams, it said in the statement.
The company said that its agreed joint venture with Korea's Samsung Engineering that was announced in April is still in the process of being finalised.
Arabtec shares fell 2.8 percent in Dubai bourse on Thursday ahead of the results. They have risen 34.4 percent year-to-date.
($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirhams) (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Dinesh Nair)