UPDATE 1-Dubai's Arabtec net profit more than doubles

Wed May 7, 2014 9:57am EDT

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DUBAI, May 7 (Reuters) - Dubai builder Arabtec said on Wednesday that its first-quarter net profit more doubled on the back of a strong delivery of projects and growth in its Gulf businesses.

The contractor, in which Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar owns a major stake, is planning a series of acquisitions and mergers, Chief Executive Hasan Ismaik said in a statement.

It is targeting global players in high-margin sectors such as oil and gas, power plants, infrastructure, and facility management of huge industrial plants, he said.

Arabtec made a net profit of 138 million dirhams ($37.57 million) compared with 62.5 million dirhams a year earlier.

The earnings beat estimates of analysts polled by Reuters who forecast an average profit of 116.3 million dirhams.

Revenue for the quarter rose 39 percent to 2.152 billion dirhams.

Arabtec is trying to evolve from a local contractor into a multinational development company as its finances are boosted by a recovery in Dubai's property market and its closeness to Aabar.

It announced plans to list a portion of its construction unit in an initial public offering in Abu Dhabi next year.

($1 = 3.6730 UAE Dirhams) (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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