Aldar Properties third-quarter net profit up 16 per cent

Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi’s biggest publicly traded real estate company, said its net profit in the third quarter increased 16 per cent amid high occupancy at rates at Yas Mall and across its office and residential properties.

The company also said that it sold Dh1 billion of property off plan, meaning that buyers booked properties from the drawing board and will by and large pay in instalments until it is completed.

Net income for the three months ended September rose to Dh737 million from Dh638m in the same period last year. Revenues rose 61 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter to Dh1.9bn, it said.

“We continue to see demand for high quality real estate in Abu Dhabi’s prime locations,” Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chief executive of Aldar Properties, said.

“Our increasingly diverse buyer mix demonstrates we are bringing the right product, at the right price, in the right location and servicing previously untapped segments of the market where we see real demand.”

Yas Mall, the company’s flagship rental property, had a 96 per cent occupancy rate in the third quarter, while its residential portfolio rate stood at 94 per cent. Its office portfolio occupancy was 95 per cent.

Greg Fewer, chief financial officer, and Talal Al Dhiyebi, chief development officer of Aldar Properties, said in a conference call after the results were released that there had been strong demand for villas in new projects on Yas Island because the average selling prices are considerably less than high end villas elsewhere and that many of the buyers appeared to be end users rather than speculators.

The company said that off plan sales were driven by two projects, Yas Acres and Mayan, where some 90 per cent of the former’s first two phases have been sold and 80 per cent of the first phase of the latter has been sold.

The buoyant results and sales come amid a slowdown in demand for property both rental and sales amid the oil price lull that has led an economic slowdown and job losses.

According to property broker Cavendish Maxwell, apartment rents in Abu Dhabi’s five key investment areas all fell by between 0.8 and 2.5 per cent in the third quarter.

Abu Dhabi has been hit hard by the global fall in oil prices, which has prompted a swath of job cuts in the oil and gas and construction sectors in the city, as well putting government budgets under pressure.

In May state-owned oil company Adnoc announced it was planning to cut 5,000 jobs by the end of the year, prompting many private companies to scale back.

mkassem@thenational.ae

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