Dubai Emaar Properties took a 27 per cent hit in net profit to Dh1.79 billion for 2011 compared with Dh2.44 billion the year before.
In results released yesterday, the developer also revealed that revenues were down 33 per cent to Dh8.11 billion from 2010's Dh12.15 billion. Emaar was hit particularly hard by a 42 per cent drop in revenues during the fourth quarter — Dh2.239 billion — against the corresponding period in 2010, when it made Dh3.83 billion.
Despite these falls, net operating profit for the fourth quarter came in above market expectations at Dh808 million (Dh691 million in 2010).
The market was expecting a number around Dh500 million and so the eventual tally comes as a nice surprise," said P. Krishnamurthy, chief executive officer of Dubai International Securities.
On the dividend side, the market is expecting something similar to the 10 per cent that was announced last year.
However, this expectation may see an upward revision against the backdrop of the good results in the fourth quarter," Krishnamurthy added.
As has been the case since 2010, the retail and hospitality divisions saw their contributions to the company's top-line numbers come in at 41 per cent against 24 per cent in 2010.
The retail and mall operations fetched Dh2.14 billion (Dh1.9 billion in 2010), while the hospitality division earned Dh1.22 billion (Dh1 billion in 2010).
"The results show the increasing importance of hospitality and retail to the company's revenue and profit mix, and at the same time the decline from their property-related operations," Krishnamurthy said.
"The overseas operations are said to have contributed more than 20 per cent against 8 per cent last year, but because of the regional situation it can be said they were not fully able to utilise their land bank in Egypt, for instance.
"It remains to see seen how they will fare this year," he said.
"Another concern has to be the Emaar-MGF joint venture in India, which has been having problems from the authorities."
Emaar announced that it handed over properties in Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and even Syria during the year.
In Dubai, more than 350 homes and 800,000 square feet of commercial space were delivered last year.
Dawahi project: strategy finetuning
Emaar Properties should fine-tune its strategy for the Dawahi Development — the wholly-owned subsidiary for affordable developments — this year. The subsidiary will have a regional footprint.