UPDATE 1-Egypt's SODIC posts 2013 net loss of $64 million

Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:27am EDT

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CAIRO, April 22 (Reuters) - Egyptian property developer SODIC swung to a net loss of 447.1 million Egyptian pounds ($64 million) last year, due to one-off items including a write-down on its investments in Syria, managing director Ahmed Badrawi told Reuters on Tuesday.

The company had made a net profit of 257 million pounds a year earlier. Revenue in 2013 reached 1.324 billion pounds, a 7 percent decrease on the year before.

"Operationally we had a very strong 2013 but that is not reflected in the actual figures reported because of these one-off items," Badrawi said.

The one-off items included a non-cash charge of 478 million pounds related to the firm's investments in war-torn Syria.

"Our board decided it would be prudent for us to take an impairment for our investments in Syria ... On our books, it was reduced to zero. So if anything negative happens in the future we wouldn't be impacted and if something positive happens it would be a bonus," Badrawi said.

Before accounting for the one-off items, SODIC's normalised net income reached 229 million pounds, the firm said.

Egypt's real estate industry was thrown into turmoil after a popular uprising ousted President Honsi Mubarak in 2011, hitting demand for high-end property.

Last week SODIC ended a dispute with Egypt's government, agreeing to pay 900 million pounds over seven years after a revaluation of its Eastown development project in Cairo.

The Eastown project in New Cairo is twice the size of London's 97-acre Canary Wharf district and includes offices, shops and homes. The government had sought to revoke SODIC's rights over the land because of delays.

"The 900 million will reduce the profitability of Eastown a little but we'll try to make up for that by looking at the project economics, increasing densities, increasing efficiency and if necessary increasing prices," he said.

The firm had already paid 100 million pounds from the settlement and will pay the remainder in the coming six years in semi-annual instalments, Badrawi said.

($1 = 6.9902 Egyptian Pounds) (Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Erica Billingham and Mark Potter)

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