March 6, 2019 / 10:13 AM / 9 months ago

Dubai developer Nakheel's fourth quarter profit falls 69 percent

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Nakheel is seen on at the entrance of its office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Cornwell

DUBAI (Reuters) - Dubai state-owned developer Nakheel’s fourth-quarter net profit fell 69 percent, according to Reuters calculations, as a drop in property prices has forced construction and engineering firms to cut jobs and halt expansion plans.

Nakheel made a profit of 520 million dirhams ($141.6 million) in the October-December period, Reuters calculated, down from 1.67 billion dirhams a year ago.

The developer behind Dubai’s palm-shaped islands reported on Wednesday a 2018 annual profit of 4.38 billion dirhams, down from 5.67 billion dirhams in 2017. It did not report revenue.

Middle East publication Zawya earlier on Wednesday reported Nakheel recently laid off 300 employees.

“We continue to enhance efficiencies by implementing policies, such as outsourcing non-essential positions, that are in the best long term interests of our stakeholders,” a Nakheel spokeswoman told Reuters.

Nakheel has said in recent years it aims to increase recurring revenue from its hospitality and retail units, which include shopping centers in Dubai.

DAMAC Properties last month reported a 87 percent drop in fourth quarter profit, while Emaar Properties, Dubai’s largest listed developer, reported a 27 percent increase in quarterly profit.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, editing by Louise Heavens

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