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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 19/09/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Majid Al Futtaim Holding on Monday announced strong growth across all three businesses and declared a 15 per cent year-on-year increase in its revenues for the first six months of 2012.

The shopping mall owner, retailer and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa recorded Dh10.7 billion revenues for the first half ended June 30, 2012.

The holding company reported a 17 per cent year-on-year increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) for January to June period this year.

The company said a robust development is in pipeline for both shopping mall and retail portfolios. The company will continue to focus on strengthening its regional shopping mall presence, with developments in both Lebanon and Egypt. Furthermore, strategic opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Azerbaijan are also under review.

"We are continuing expansion of the Carrefour franchise, with plans to open two additional hypermarkets in the remainder of 2012, including our first store in Georgia this month," Majid Al Futtaim Holding chief executive officer Iyad Malas said in a statement.

"2012 has already been a successful and busy year for us. We opened our 11th shopping mall in Fujairah in April of this year with full retailer occupancy. We have seen turnarounds in markets previously impacted by the Arab spring, with tenant sales increasing about 44 per cent in Egypt and about 23 per cent in Bahrain, in the first half of the year. Tenant sales in the UAE and Oman grew by 13 per cent," Malas said.

The group said it continues to maintain an excellent liquidity position and has demonstrated its ability to access diversified sources of funding. Following its successful debut Sukuk in February 2012, the group issued a seven year 500 million bond in July 2012, as part of its Reg S EMTN programme. The group's current liquidity position is sufficient to cover over two years of its financing requirements, which include cash flow stemming from net working capital, planned capital expenditure and servicing of maturing debt. Financing initiatives are now focused on improving the profile of the company's debt portfolio such as reducing secured debt, refinancing to achieve more flexible & improved terms.

Majid Al Futtaim Properties saw its revenue increase by a strong 16 per cent to Dh1.5 billion and EBITDA rise by about 12 per cent to Dh0.97 billion, contributing about 64 per cent of the group's EBITDA.

Majid Al Futtaim Retail saw its revenue increase by 15 per cent year over year to Dh8.9 billion and EBITDA rise by 23 per cent to Dh467 million, contributing about 31 per cent of the group's EBITDA. Including its first store in Iraq, the business opened six new Carrefour hypermarkets in the first half of the year, bringing the total to 49 hypermarkets and 38 supermarkets. Majid Al Futtaim Ventures saw its revenue increase by 11 per cent to Dh388 million and EBITDA rise by about 44 per cent to Dh83 million.


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