Dubai's DAMAC triples profit as property sales surge

March 04, 2014 - 11:19:45 am
DUBAI: Dubai luxury real estate developer DAMAC tripled its 2013 net profit and plans more new projects this year, it said on Tuesday, dismissing growing concerns of a new property bubble in the emirate's real estate market.

Property prices in Dubai rebounded by more than 20 percent last year, having slumped more than 50 percent from a 2008 peak before a real estate crash sparked a debt crisis.

DAMAC, which listed its shares on the London Stock Exchange in December, posted a net profit of $641.5 million last year, against $212.5 million in 2012. Revenue for the year grew 77 percent to $1.2 billion.

The developer, which gave away yachts and sports cars to buyers of its luxury properties during the downturn, said it booked sales worth $2.5 billion in 2013, compared with only $661 million the previous year.

"We're staying focused on Dubai. We are on track to deliver another 5,000 units this year," Hussain Sajwani, the executive chairman and chief executive of DAMAC, said in an interview after announcing the results.

Industry experts have warned of another bubble in the Dubai property market if growth remains uncontrolled. House prices in Dubai will return to pre-crisis highs next year, property consultant Jones Lang LaSalles said last month.

Sajwani said he's not concerned about a bubble because there is a limited supply of properties in the market.

"While there were hundreds of developer in Dubai in 2008, now there are just a handful, so supply is limited."

"I think another 25,000 to 30,000 units entering Dubai should be okay. Anything more could be a concern."

Sajwani said the company will announce more new projects in Dubai and one or two new schemes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. (Reuters)

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