* Q4 net profit 512 mln dirhams vs 716 mln dirhams
* Q4 revenue up 20 pct at 2.7 bln dirhams
* Says 80 pct of projects launched last year were sold
* Results miss average analysts’ forecasts (Adds details)
DUBAI, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Emaar Properties, Dubai’s largest developer, posted a 28 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit on Thursday, missing analysts’ forecasts, as costs soared amid revival of stalled projects in the emirate.
The builder of the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, reported a quarterly profit of 512 million dirhams ($139.39 million) compared with a profit of 716.7 million dirhams in the prior-year period.
A Reuters poll of five analysts estimated an average net profit of 546.25 million dirhams for the quarter.
A gradual recovery in Dubai’s property market - buoyed by return of speculative buyers - has helped Emaar revisit some of its projects which was put on hold after the emirate’s property crisis in 2009, and renew its international growth plans.
Its shares have benefited from the revival of the emirate’s battered property market, gaining 30 percent year-to-date and nearly doubling in the last one year.
“Emaar capitalised on the city’s resurgence by investing in creating prime real estate assets and strengthening our shopping malls and hospitality businesses,” said Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties.
Revenue for the quarter was 2.7 billion dirhams, a 20 percent increase over 2.2 billion dirhams during the same period in 2011, Emaar said in a bourse statement.
Cost of revenues soared to 1.5 billion dirhams for the quarter compared with 970 million dirhams in the prior-year period.
The developer handed over 1,105 homes and more than 149,000 square feet of commercial office space in Dubai in 2012, it said. The Company also handed over 673 homes and more than 122,000 square feet of commercial space in its international markets.
The company signed a $500 million loan in December to finance its Emaar Square project in Turkey.
Emaar’s latest offering, serviced residences in Downtown Dubai, was sold out one the first day of its public launch, the developer said in a statement following the event last week.
The company said more than 80 percent of its projects launched last year have been sold.
Shares of Emaar ended 0.2 percent lower on Dubai’s bourse prior to the release of the results. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirhams) (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Dinesh Nair)