Dubai interior contractor Depa posts 6 per cent rise in H1 profit

Dubai-based Depa returned to profitability during the first six months of 2016 following a revamp of its operations.

The interior contracting company posted a 6 per cent year-on-year increase in profit attributable to its owners of Dh15.4 million, despite an 8 per cent fall in revenue to Dh772.2m.

The company, which had declared a Dh266m net loss for the whole of 2015, which was largely due to writedowns in the carrying value of some of its businesses, said that profits were higher as a result of “streamlining of our operations across all major geographies”, while lower revenues were blamed on a slowdown in two key markets – Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

This was countered to an extent by growth in Dubai, where revenue from contracting operations grew three-fold.

Depa said that it had conducted a restructuring that has split the business into six different operating divisions.

Depa Interiors will carry out flagship projects such as the work done at the new UAE Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi and at KAPSARC in Saudi Arabia, Singapore-listed Design Studio will continue to focus on fit-outs and furniture manufacturing in Asia and Germany-based Vedder will focus on fit-outs for luxury yachts, private residences and hotels, among others.

Deco Interiors will provide interior contracting works for corporate and retail clients, Lindner Middle East – its joint venture with German interiors business Lindner – will provide Lindner-branded interiors for offices, airports, sports centres and other commercial properties, while The Parker Company will provide procurement consultancy services for hotel chains from Dubai, Zurich and Miami.

The company said that it landed 152 new contracts in the first half of the year, totalling Dh937m. This helped to strengthen its order book by 5 per cent, with its backlog standing at Dh2.2bn by June 30.

New wins included a Dh304m fit-out deal for the Saadiyat Rotana resort in Abu Dhabi and a refurbishment of the Shangri-La hotel in Dubai.

Vedder secured two new orders worth a combined Dh135m, bringing its backlog to near-record levels and tying up production capacity at its facilities for the next 18-24 months.

Looking ahead, the company said that it expects “key markets to remain challenging and competitive for the remainder of the year” but said that given the strength of its backlog it is cautiously optimistic about future prospects.

“We will continue to remain focused on our core markets and will remain vigilant of risks that could impact our business,” the company said in a statement on Nasdaq Dubai.

mfahy@thenational.ae