Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties beats forecasts with 98% profit rise

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Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi’s biggest property developer, said third-quarter earnings nearly doubled, beating analysts’ forecasts, and said it had arranged financing worth 4 billion dirhams ($1.09bn) to refinance existing debt.

Majority state-owned Aldar piled on debt after being tasked with building trophy assets for the Abu Dhabi government and had to bailed out by the state by injecting about $10bn in 2011.

The builder of Abu Dhabi’s Formula One race track made a profit of 407.5 million dirhams ($111.0m) compared with
$56.01m in the corresponding period of 2012, it said in a statement on Abu Dhabi’s bourse.

The quarterly earnings were well ahead of average estimates by four analysts, who forecasted a net profit of $65.71m.

The government-owned firm merged with former rival Sorouh Real Estate in a state-backed deal in June, forming Abu Dhabi’s largest property firm with assets of about $12bn.

Prime house prices in Abu Dhabi grew by 5 percent in Abu Dhabi in the third quarter, consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle said in a report, but more supply will enter the market with another 4,000 units scheduled for delivery by the end of the year.

In a separate statement, Aldar said it has arranged two bank financings totaling $1.08bn, which will be used to refinance existing debt.

The facilities, currently undrawn, have an average margin of 1.3 percent above base rate and an average maturity of three and half years, Aldar said, without naming the banks which provided the financing.

Aldar also added that its board was considering refinancing existing debt through loans or sukuk. The company has a $1.25bn bond maturing in May 2014.

Sources familiar with the matter had earlier told Reuters that Aldar was talking to banks about raising a bridge loan of up to $1.5bn with an option to convert it later into a bond.

Aldar shares have risen 30.2 percent year-to-date. They were yet to begin trade on the Abu Dhabi bourse Thursday.

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