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Asset sales and the launch of a new round of projects, with a focus on Motor City, has helped Union Properties post a substantial Dh1.57 billion in net profit for 2013, compared to Dh175.78 million a year earlier. Revenues for the year were Dh4.49 billion against 2012's Dh1.87 billion.
While Emaar Properties and Abu Dhabi's Aldar are expected to come out with upbeat full-year numbers shortly, Union Properties' financial position reflects a remarkable turnaround after the company went through a decline in a crisis period beginning 2009.
But the company's land bank and portfolio of completed projects has been instrumental in effecting a turnaround and driving the company back into growth mode, Khalid Bin Kalban, chairman of Union Properties as well as Dubai Investments, said in a recent interview.
The share was up a marginal five fils to Dh1.59 yesterday, but has in the recent past been lifted by the general upbeat sentiments for realty and construction equities.
Foreign investors can own a combined stake of up to 15 per cent in Union Properties, with GCC and Arab investors now holding just over 10 per cent and foreign investors at 3.86 per cent.
But the company's asset base was down to Dh7.45 billion from Dh9 billion a year ago.
Of its completed projects, the developer is able to generate sizeable and sustained income. Green Community has reached a mature stage in terms of what it offers, with a three-bedroom villa now commanding upwards of Dh210,000 annually. Motor City, where UP has just mobilised projects, would be an immediate beneficiary once the Expo 2020 works get into full swing.
''Larger master-planned communities have performed especially well as community living continues to be popular, even for smaller families who prefer the security, facilities and proximity of a larger compound compared to a standalone villa,'' said Asteco in its 2013 report on the Dubai property market, which was released yesterday.
Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor, gulfnews.com