February 14, 2018 / 11:42 AM / a year ago

Emaar Properties Q4 quarterly profit dips amid higher costs

DUBAI, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Emaar Properties reported a 16 percent slide in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday as costs weighted on Dubai’s largest listed developer.

Emaar’s weak performance follows results from fellow developer DAMAC Properties earlier, which showed a nearly 47 percent plunge in net profit for the quarter.

Rising supply from new developments and modest demand dragged down property prices in Dubai last year.

Emaar raised $1.3 billion in November when it sold a 20 percent stake, or 800 million shares, in a listing of unit Emaar Development.

Net profit for Emaar Properties dipped 16 percent from the same period of last year to 1.36 billion dirhams ($370.3 million) in the fourth quarter.

Dubai’s residential property market shows few signs of bouncing back quickly from a now three-year downturn, National Bank of Kuwait said in its economic update earlier this month.

Prices are down 16-19 percent from their peaks of over three years ago, the report said.

Revenue for Emaar Properties rose 21 percent to 5.36 billion dirhams in the quarter.

But a 32 percent climb in cost of revenues and a 14 percent rise in selling, marketing and general expenses weighed on the results.

Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said last week he was worried about 2019 and would prefer to keep debt levels “reasonable.” He did not elaborate.

Emaar Development reported this month a 30 percent increase in 2017 profit to 2.74 billion dirham. Emaar Malls, another unit, reported a 27 percent rise in fourth quarter profit to 574 million dirhams.

Emaar Properties is part of a joint-venture building The Tower in Dubai, which it has said would be the world’s tallest tower, outdoing the more than 160-storey Burj Khalifa, built by the developer.

The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour is scheduled to be completed in 2020. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham) (Reporting By Tom Arnold and Alex Cornwell; Editing by Saeed Azhar)

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