Stock - Multiply Group
The Multiply Group has its investments in multiple sectors, including retail and media. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The ADX-listed Multiply Group recorded a steep drop in 2023 profitability – from Dh18.56 billion to Dh580.8 million, which the company says was brought about by ‘fair value’ losses.

If net profit excludes the fair value changes in the investment portfolio, the tally would have been Dh1.1 billion, the Abu Dhabi headquartered investment group - and owner of Emirates Driving Co. - added.

“Throughout 2023, we were focused on delivering strong growth across our existing subsidiaries, as well as, new acquisitions within the diverse industries in which we operate,” said Andre Sayegh, Chairman.

“Our performance means that we are well-positioned and laser focused on the path ahead, where we seek to continue driving strategic investments that will create lasting and meaningful impact across the UAE economy.

“Being a diverse holding company, we are very well placed to improve our synergies across our operating entities, which will reflect in improved earnings in the years to come.”

Finance costs also shot up, to Dh415 million from Dh150 million. 

Fair value losses
This is what hurt Multiply – in 2023, investment and other income came to Dh407 million. In comparison, 2022 delivered that whopping Dh18.39 billion boost.

In 2023, Multiply’s unrealised fair value losses were at Dh562 million resulting from ‘market volatility’.

Buying spree

Since 2021, Multiply has been on a buying spree across key sectors, including tech-related investments. Some of those moves paid off handsomely, in 2022.

In 2023, group-wide revenues increased 15 per cent to Dh1.3 billion, reflecting the 'strength of our vertical building strategy, driven by organic growth across the four verticals' (5 per cent up). There was the consolidation of Media 247 under the media vertical and of Fisio and The Juice Spa and Salon under its beauty and wellness vertical.

The 'blended gross profit margin improved to 51.3 per cent, reflecting an improvement of 70 basis points as a result of enhanced profitability across core verticals', the company said in the statement.

"In 2023, we worked diligently on building our verticals – creating value by adding new services, identifying portfolio-wide synergies, investing in bolt-on acquisitions, buying competitors and enhancing margins," said Samia Bouazza, group CEO and Managing Director. "This is reflected in our full-year earnings which show excellent growth across our subsidiaries."