(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Aldar Properties, the largest property developer in Abu Dhabi, reported on Tuesday a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue to Dh1.76 billion in the first quarter of 2019, and said it expects full-year sales to hit Dh4 billion "despite a weak property market."
Aldar made a net profit attributable to owners of Dh553 million in the three months to March 31, down 26 per cent compared with a net profit of Dh669.5 million in the same 2018 period, the builder of Abu Dhabi's Formula One circuit said in a statement.
Sales in the first quarter totalled Dh1 billion, up 49 per cent from year earlier, driven by successful launch of Alreeman while gross profit was at Dh 723 million in line with the same 2018 quarter.
Talal Al Dhiyebi, Chief Executive Officer, Aldar Properties, said 2019 was off to a great start. "Our strong sales reinforce Abu Dhabi's favourable supply and demand dynamics as seen with Alreeman and Lea."
He said the developer's asset management portfolio is well balanced and showing the benefits of its strategic diversification. "Our strategy is optimised to take advantage of the opportunities stemming from pro-growth government initiatives."
In line with Aldar's strategy of growing its portfolio of high quality assets and optimising the value for shareholders, the asset management business continued to make strong progress in the first quarter of 2019. Hospitality had a standout quarter, with a 94 per cent increase in NOI versus Q1 2018. Aldar carried out two transactions in the first quarter, including full ownership of Etihad Plaza and Etihad Airways Centre in an Dh 1.2 billion non-cash transaction. In March, Aldar sold Al Murjan Tower for Dh289 million.
Aldar's spending in 2019 is earmarked for residential and some commercial projects, said Chief Financial Officer Greg Fewer on a media call.
The company has spent approximately Dh550 million in the first quarter, he said. "We are keeping our Dh4 billion guidance ... reflecting our pipeline of projects, our customers and land bank," he said. The bullish view is also due to the recent freehold law passed by Abu Dhabi allowing foreigners to own land. "It opens a multitude of new buyers and will have a positive impact on sales," Fewer said.
On the development management front, Aldar reported a strong quarter. Development sales totalled Dh1.0 billion in the first quarter, up 49 per cent from year earlier, primarily driven by the successful launch of Alreeman, a development in the Alshamkha area of Abu Dhabi, in January. The company also reported continued sales activity across existing launches including Yas Acres, West Yas and Mamsha with development revenue backlog standing at Dh 4.3 billion.
Associate Business Editor of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.