Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group (DHCOG) has announced a 60 per cent increase in its 2011 net profits, to Dh204 million, up from Dh127m in 2010, and its CEO affirmed that the unit will continue to repay its debt as and when it becomes due even as the group diversifies its revenues away from property and land sales.
“DHCOG is committed to meeting its financial obligations as and when they fall due,” said Ahmad Bin Byat, CEO of Dubai Holding, in the media statement announcing the unit’s positive annual results.
“The company has robust hotel management, telecommunications, free zone and property businesses that contribute a healthy cash flow,” he said. DHCOG comprises four business subsidiaries: Jumeirah Group (Jumeirah), Dubai Properties Group (DPG), TECOM Investments (TECOM) and Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT).
In the statement, the Dubai Holding said recurring revenues for the unit increased by 7 per cent to Dh6 billion, while total revenues stood at Dh8.8bn.
The group has steadily managed to chip away at its debt pile, and reduced its total debt by Dh1.24 billion, or 8.8 per cent, in one year, from Dh14.08 billion in 2010 to Dh12.84bn in 2011, of which Dh2.4bn is short- term borrowing. Its debt-to-asset ratio improved to 0.13 and debt-to-equity ratio improved to 0.93.
“The deleveraging of our debt commitments has been one of the highlights of 2011 and will continue to be our priority in the years to come,” said Bin Byat. “The positive results of 2011 demonstrate DHCOG’s resilience and strong business fundamentals across the portfolio. Despite continued challenging economic conditions globally, 2011 proved to be a good year for DHCOG,” he added.
The unit’s total assets stood at Dh97.4bn while current liabilities decreased from Dh31.2bn in 2010 to Dh26.6bn in 2011, down 15 per cent due to a decline in trade payables, customer advances and contractor liabilities. DHCOG concluded the year with a cash balance of Dh2.3bn, an increase of 50.5 per cent compared to Dh1.5bn in 2010.
In the statement, the unit said DHCOG deleveraged its debt commitments by paying down the CHF 250 million bonds in July 2011 through cash generated from operations and from sales of non-core assets. It further paid down $500 million bonds which matured in February 2012.
Repayment of the bonds, along with consistent and strong operating performance, triggered positive rating actions by Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service, both of which placed DHCOG on a stable outlook in February 2012.
The unit said that, in line with its strategy of strengthening the recurring income streams, properties and land sales represented less than a third – 31.6 per cent – of its total revenue in 2011, compared to 58.1 per cent in 2010.
“The group is well-positioned, with long-term recurring revenues and a diverse portfolio of income-generating assets, to build on the healthy performance of our underlying businesses. We have a robust balance sheet, which provides us with the flexibility to support our businesses in delivering strong performance and revenues,” Bin Byat said.
“The outlook for DHCOG and its subsidiaries remains promising on the back of stabilising economic conditions. DHCOG has made considerable strides to improve its balance sheet and reduce its debt position. We look ahead into 2012 with great optimism about the medium- and long-term outlook for our businesses as we continue to drive operational efficiencies to deliver even stronger operating performance,” he concluded.