Profit growth of Emirates REIT, the UAE’s real estate investment trust, was fuelled by a takeover and double-digit property income.
The company, which owns a suite of real estate in Dubai, said net profit increased by 9.1% to over $52m in the 12 months to 31 December 2017.
Growth rounds off a strong year for the business, which increased the number of properties in its portfolio from nine to 10, after its acquisition of the European Business Centre in Dubai Investment Park for $35.4m.
Commenting on the financial results, Sylvain Vieujot, the CEO of Equitativa Dubai, which manages REIT, said 2017 had been a “significant year for the company”.
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Vieujot said the year ended “on a high note” after the company issued a $400m sukuk that was used to refinance debt. This is significant; the sukuk removed interest rate risk, giving Emirates REIT greater cash flow that will come in handy as it plots fresh takeovers this year.
“With a robust financial position, we are well positioned to embark on the next phase of the REIT’s development,” said Vieujot. “We actively explore further acquisition opportunities in both commercial and education sectors and remain confident about the upside potential of Index Tower and Mall.”
Emirates REIT’s 2017 takeover of European Business Centre and its leasing of offices at Index Tower significantly increased the company’s rise in total property income, which increased by 19.6% to over $60m.
Rental income alone netted the company $53.9m, up 19% from the $43.3m reported in 2016.
The on-time and on-budget delivery of the British Columbia Canadian School in Dubai meant the financial results at Emirates REIT were boosted by a strong performance on the ground, too. The school is the third place of learning under its portfolio and “strengthens” its position as an investor in the UAE education sector, according to the company.
With 10 sites now under its control, total portfolio value surpassed $860m.
Ranked by Forbes as one of the top 100 real estate companies in the Arab world, Emirates REIT has its eye on takeovers of office space and education hubs for 2018 as it targets continued profit growth.