UPDATE 1-Emaar net profit beats estimates as Dubai booms

Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:44am EST

Related Topics

* Q4 net profit rises 48 percent to 756 mln dirhams

* Quarterly revenue up 3 percent to 2.76 bln dirhams

* 2013 sales nearly triple (Adds details)

By Praveen Menon

DUBAI, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Emaar Properties, Dubai's largest listed property developer, posted a 48 percent increase in its quarterly profit from a strong upturn that boosted by growth in its malls, hotels and property business.

Dubai's safe haven status during the region's Arab Spring uprisings has fuelled trade and tourism over the last year.

A bellwether for Dubai's real estate market, Emaar has led a recovery in that sector, and most of the projects it launched in the last few months were sold out within hours, reminiscent of the period before the 2008 global financial crisis.

Fourth-quarter net profit of 756 million dirhams ($206 million) compared with 512 million in the corresponding period of 2012, it said in a statement on Monday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted on average a net profit of 622 million dirhams.

Revenue for the quarter was 2.76 billion dirhams, up 3 percent year-on-year. Emaar's full-year net profit was 2.57 billion dirhams, an increase of 21 percent over 2012.

Dubai's largest property firm said revenue from its malls and hotels, accounted for nearly half of the total revenue.

Meanwhile, total value of property sales in Dubai for 2013 was 12 billion dirhams, nearly three times the amount in 2012.

Property prices in Dubai have fallen more than 50 percent from their 2008 peak.

Moody's upgraded the developer's ratings by two notchs, one level short of investment grade, on the back of the figures, although the ratings agency said it remained cautious about "the sustainability of current market trends".

However "...the company's resilient recurring cash flows from its investment properties coupled with the success of its new project launches and reduced gross debt levels has significantly strengthened the credit profile of the company," Moody's said.

Emaar regained its investment grade credit rating from S&P this month.

Its shares ended 1.2 percent higher before the results were announced. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirhams) (Editing by Andrew Torchia and Louise Ireland)

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