February 15, 2018 / 7:34 AM / in 3 months

UPDATE 1-UAE’s Aldar plans $1.47 bln capex over two years, 2017 profit falls -CFO

(Adds details)

By Stanley Carvalho

ABU DHABI, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Aldar Properties, the state-linked builder of Abu Dhabi’s Formula One circuit, said it plans to spend 5.4 billion dirhams ($1.47 billion) over the next two years after reporting an 80 percent drop in fourth quarter profit.

The results come against a backdrop of a slowing economy and property market in the oil-rich capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Aldar made a net profit attributable to owners of 141.0 million dirhams ($38.4 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, compared with 727.9 million dirhams a year earlier, CFO Greg Fewer said on a conference call on Thursday.

A one-time charge of 495 million dirhams in the fourth quarter, representing 3 percent of the asset management portfolio, impacted Aldar’s bottom line, he said.

SICO Bahrain forecast that Aldar would make a quarterly profit of 628.12 million dirhams.

Aldar’s full-year profit attributable to owners was 2 billion dirhams, compared with 2.78 billion dirhams in 2016, he said.

“The overall capex programme stands at 5.4 billion dirhams (which) will run approximately 24 months, but we add to this as we continue to announce new contracts and launch new projects,” Fewer said.

Aldar’s capex in 2017 was about 1.6 billion dirhams, he said.

Aldar is also evaluating refinancing of its $750 million sukuk that matures later this year, Fewer said, adding they are confident of accessing markets.

The company’s full-year revenue totalled 6.18 billion dirhams compared to 6.23 billion dirhams in the prior year.

With 3 billion dirhams of contracts awarded in 2017 and some 7,000 units under construction, Aldar expects strong sales this year as it launches new projects, Talal al Dhyebi, chief executive, said on the conference call.

“We have bold plans for 2018, exciting development launches and are seeking opportunities to grow our portfolio in existing and new markets.”

Aldar’s board proposed paying a dividend of 12 fils per share for 2017 versus 11 fils per share in the previous year. (Additional reporting by Davide Barbuscia, editing by Adrian Croft)

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