Emaar keeps focus on growth at annual general meeting

The Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar has said that its board will continue to place pressure on its management to deliver profitable growth.

Opening the company’s annual general meeting with a PowerPoint slide showing how it had beaten profit targets for two out of the past three years, and that the cumulative three-year figure was 5.6 per cent ahead of target, Mr Alabbar said the company plans to repeat the exercise for the next three years, but did not give details of the new targets as they were not ready.

He said that when Emaar first revealed its three-year targets, its board were asked why they had done it.

“I think the answer we got from the board was that we like to put pressure on ourselves, we like to put pressure on management. I’m happy to share it with you just to say that this is what we promised and this is where we’ve got.”

The slide showed that the company beat projected profit figures in 2014, when profit achieved was 6.4 per cent higher than the board had requested. Its profit in 2015 was 18.9 per cent higher than forecast, but the 2016 figure was 3.4 per cent lower than the target.

“I think 2016, if it wasn’t for our contractors’ performance, who are really suffering, to deliver our projects on time we could have achieved that number, Mr Alabbar said.

“I promise you that the board and management are looking for … the same type of growth for the next three years – just to put more pressure on everybody.”

Shareholders approved all of the resolutions on the agenda, including a special resolution setting up a new employee incentive scheme that will grant up to 50 million shares per year at a par value of Dh1 per share to qualifying members.

However, during the meeting a number of shareholders pressed the board to distribute more of its properties through dividends, although a 15 fils per share cash issue was approved.

“Hopefully, in a month, or even nearer than that, you will see that we will be achieving projects and you will see other news that we have won an important project that our financial position has allowed us to [undertake],” Mr Alabbar said.

mfahy@thenational.ae

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