Arabtec expects to make profits in 2017, says Chairman

Arabtec, the construction giant in the Middle East that suffered losses to the tune of Dh2.3 billion last year, is expected to make profits next year, its chairman told reporters in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

“We expect to make profits next year. It is going to be tough this year. We might break even but it will be tough,” said Mohammad Thani Murshed Al Rumaithi, Chairman of Arabtec Holding.

The company slipped into a substantial Dh2.3 billion loss for 2015 (against a net profit of Dh215 million in 2014), while revenues suffered a 12 per cent erosion to Dh7.3 billion amid difficult trading circumstances for the industry.

When asked what makes him optimistic, he said they have the support of the Abu Dhabi government with new projects worth Dh9 billion including Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed City in Fujairah which was announced recently.

On cost cutting measures, he said there might be some job cuts this year without giving a specific figure.

“There is still some fat to be taken out and this includes job cuts. I cannot tell you exactly how many.”

The company will also be looking to expand into Egypt, India and Saudi Arabia in future.

“We are in talks to enter India and strengthen our base in Saudi Arabia. There is big time potential in Saudi Arabia.”

“We want to strengthen our local market in the UAE. There is big demand for real estate. We want to be a leader in the UAE.”

In Egypt, where the company has plans to build one million homes, Al Rumaithi said, “Our end goal is still one million homes but we will start with 13,000 in phase one and then escalate it. We are waiting for response from the Egypt government.”

The company also has plans to dispose off non-construction related businesses, he said, without giving details.

Source: Fareed Rahman, Senior Reporter,


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