Dubai property developer Emaar reports drop in villa sales

Revenues from villas falls by 17% in first quarter of the year

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Dubai’s Emaar Properties said on Thursday that its revenue from villa sales dropped by nearly 17 percent in the first quarter of the year, as it extracted more income from malls and hotels instead.

The builder of the world’s tallest tower generated revenue of 256.91 million dirhams ($69.94 million) from sales of villas in the first quarter compared to 308.73 million dirhams in the corresponding period in 2013, a detailed earnings statement released on Thursday showed.

However, the decline was partly offset by an increase in revenue from its hospitality and rental portfolio.

Revenue from sales of apartment blocks, commercial units and land rose by just 2.9 percent year-on-year to 653 million dirhams.

Emaar reported a 55 percent rise in first-quarter net profit in April, on the back of growing revenue from its malls and hospitality business.

The developer diversified out of property sales after Dubai’s housing market prices slumped by more than half from a 2008 peak when the emirate's building boom went bust.

The company plans to spin off and sell 25 percent of Emaar Malls Group through a public offering likely to take place in London and Dubai later this year.

The cost of revenue from property sales in the quarter dropped to 815.16 million dirhams from 993.18 million dirhams a year ago.

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