Dubai-listed Arabtec swings to annual loss, blames real estate slowdown

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Dubai-listed Arabtec Holding swung to a 774.5 million dirham ($210.9 million) net loss in 2019 from a profit of 256.3 million dirham in 2018, the construction company reported on Sunday.

Arabtec, which was involved in the construction of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, posted its first annual loss since 2016, according to Refinitiv data.

Read: Dubai’s oversupplied property sector to add more new homes in 2020

The company blamed the loss on its core construction business, citing a slowing real estate sector where there have been limited new projects launched.

Dubai has faced a slowing real estate market for most of the previous decade, with the exception of a brief pick up more than six years ago.

Development of some non-real estate projects across the United Arab Emirates have also slowed or been halted.

Arabtec also cited low liquidity in the real estate sector, settlement and recoverability claims and estimated losses from an investment in an associate company for the loss.

It did not name the associate company.

Other business units, including industrial and engineering, remained profitable, it said.

Read: S&P: Dubai’s real estate slump to last until 2020

Revenue fell 21 percent to 7.78 billion dirhams and Group Chief Financial Officer Adel al-Wahedi resigned, it said in bourse statements.

The company also said it’s closely working with “key lenders” to align its debt with its business needs and is cutting costs by reducing its workforce.

Discussions and due diligence of a potential merger with Trojan, announced in September, continue to take place, it said.