Emaar Properties reported on Thursday a 30 per cent jump in net profit at Dh7.216 billion in 2018 as revenue surged 37 per cent to Dh25.694 billion.
The developer said during the fourth quarter 2018, it revenue jumped 53 per cent to Dh8.304 billion compared to the same 2017 quarter revenue. Net profit in the final quarter was Dh1.954 billion, up 34 per cent, prior to considering the effect of the IPO of Emaar Development and forex movement.
In a statement, the leading developer said it distributed an exceptional dividend of Dh4 billion in 2018 from the proceeds of Emaar Development IPO, highlighting the company's commitment to delivering sustained value. Emaar Malls and Emaar Development too distributed a cash dividend of Dh1.301 billion and special (interim) dividend of Dh1.040 billion respectively in 2018.
"Our strategy for 2018 was to launch and build premium real estate assets that gained strong investor response from regional and international markets. We also expanded our malls business to be relevant to changing customer aspirations, highlighted by the expansion of The Dubai Mall and the launch of Dubai Square. In the hospitality business, we aim to be asset-light and focus more on our operational strengths. With digital transformation and building an ownership mindset driving our growth, we will continue to create long-term value for our shareholders," said Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties.
Emaar said it had handed over more than 51,800 residential units in Dubai and other international markets to date. More than 29,800 residences are under development in the UAE and over 17,500 units in global markets.
In premium property development, Emaar launched world-class residences in Dubai Creek Harbour, Dubai Hills Estate, Emaar Beachfront, Emaar South, Downtown Dubai and Arabian Ranches during 2018. The first homes in Dubai Creek Harbour will be handed over this year, while Dubai Hills Estate is also coming to life with the opening of the Dubai Hills Golf Club.
"The robust growth of Emaar in 2018 was supported by the positive performance of Emaar Development, the UAE build-to-sale property development business majority-owned by Emaar as well as by Emaar Malls," it said.
Emaar Development's total revenue in 2018 urged 74 per cent to Dh15.433 billion. "Highlighting the strong investor interest for Emaar's residential launches, Emaar reported total sales of Dh14.394 billion in UAE during 2018. Emaar now has a sales backlog of Dh36.454 billion in the UAE to be recognised as revenue in the next three to four years.
Emaar Malls posted revenue of Dh4.446 billion, an increase of 23 per cent, compared to 2017 revenue of Dh3.629 billion.
"Together, the malls and retail centres of Emaar Malls welcomed 136 million visitors in 2018, five per cent higher than 2017. Emaar Malls marked the 10th anniversary of The Dubai Mall - underlining its reputation as the world's most-visited retail and lifestyle destination for the fifth consecutive year," said the statement.
Emaar's hospitality & leisure, entertainment and commercial leasing businesses together recorded revenue of Dh2.734 billion, in line with 2017 revenue of Dh2.722 billion. Emaar has also introduced an investment project Rove City Walk in 2018 where guest rooms were offered for sale with revenue share arrangement. The launch was very successful with record sale of Dh154 million, the developer said.
"Emaar's international business operations were equally strong in 2018, contributing 12 per cent to the total revenue. Revenue from overseas operations was Dh3.081 billion," said the statement.
As part of its strategy to be asset-light, Emaar Hospitality Group signed definitive documentation with Abu Dhabi National Hotels to divest its entire economic interest in a portfolio of five hotels in Dubai. In 2018, the group's hotel brands - Address Hotels + Resorts, and Vida Hotels and Resorts continued to record higher occupancy than Dubai's industry average, the developer said.
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