Dubai: The Dubai headquartered mall and community developer, Majid Al Futtaim, has reported first-half 2021 revenues of Dh15.6 billion ($4.21 billion), a decline of 10 per cent from a year ago. The company says that the tally shows sufficient resilience against the worst fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent disruption on businesses.
Net profit after tax came to Dh662 million ($179 million), while total equity saw a marginal rise primarily helped by “relative stabilisation in the market, resulting in steady asset valuations," the company added.
"While we continue to feel impact from the continued disruption, our strong financial position has enabled us to remain resilient to that pressure and agile in how we respond to the stressors within our operating environment. This has enabled us to continue executing on delivery of our regional growth strategy."
A further 13 cinema screens will be added in the Kingdom before this year is out.
Online is starting to add to the group's numbers, with a 25 per cent plus increase in Carrefour online sales and 50 per cent growth in number of orders versus same time in 2020. "The acceleration of pre-pandemic trends – particularly as they pertain to digital capabilities – continues to gather pace," said Bejjani.
On the finances, Majid Al Futtaim’s debt maturity is "light over the next three years, with no material debt maturity until September 2024," the company said. At the end of the June, it entered its first sustainability-linked syndicated bank financing through amending and extending an existing syndicated revolving facility. This included clear targets linked to the company's sustainability strategy - 'Dare Today, Change Tomorrow' - and includes significant emissions reduction and gender diversity across senior management positions.
While we continue to feel impact from the continued disruption, our strong financial position has enabled us to remain resilient to that pressure and agile in how we respond to the stressors within our operating environment. This has enabled us to continue executing on delivery of our regional growth strategy
Its retail division was the one bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 attack, with a 12 per cent decline in revenues and a similar drop in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to Dh13.2 billion and Dh623 million. "New (virus) variants and the measures taken by governments to curb infection rates continued to constrain operations and opening hours in certain geographies impacting Majid Al Futtaim Retail’s results," the company said.
On the retail front, its biggest showpiece moment was the opening of City Centre Al Zahia in March. At 136,200 square metres of gross leasable space, it is the largest mall in the northern emirates and the "centrepiece" of Majid Al Futtaim’s development in Sharjah.