'Geographic diversity' and new contracts drive Depa Q1 profit

Dubai-listed interiors contractor Depa reported a jump in first-quarter profit as it secured new contracts.

Net profit during the first three months jumped by 170 per cent to Dh23.5 million. Revenue grew by 15 per cent to Dh369.5m, year-on-year.

The “geographic diversity of the group” helped drive growth last quarter, Hamish Tyrwhitt, Depa’s group chief executive, told The National.

“All four key business units performed well,” he said. “We have never planned to sell any of our core business units [but] we do have several non-core investments and holdings that we are reviewing to ensure we continue to add the best value to the company for our shareholders.”

Its shares were flat from last week’s close at 36 cents. That is slightly down from 37 cents a year ago.

During the period, the group completed projects such as the Robinsons department store at Dubai Festival City and the retail fit-out for a US electronics brand in Dubai Mall done by Depa’s Dubai-based unit Deco Group. The group also bagged new contracts, including a project for a government ministry in Jeddah, a luxury hotel in Dubai, a private yacht project in Germany and the fit-out of the Dolce and Gabbana store at Dubai Mall.

Depa’s various units include Germany-based interior designer Vedder and Singapore-listed furniture manufacturer Design Studio.

Depa Interiors Group, based in Dubai, “resolved a number of legacy receivables and continues to make positive progress in respect of a number of other key receivables”, the group said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai where it is listed.

The group’s net cash at the end of March was Dh324.9m, up by 128 per centfrom a year earlier. The backlog at the end of the first quarter reached Dh2.247 billion, up by Dh87m, or 4 per cent, from Dh2.16bn year-on-year.

“The quality and strength of Depa’s existing backlog, a solid pipeline of prospective new work and a strong net cash position, ensure the group is well placed to compete in its core markets and navigate risk,” Mr Tyrwhitt said in the statement.


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