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Dubai’s Arabtec Q2 earnings fall, misses forecasts

Q2 profits fall 40 pct vs year-ago.

August 2, 2010 11:27 by

Arabtec, the Dubai builder hit hard by Dubai’s property crisis, said its net profit for the second-quarter dropped 40 percent, missing analysts forecasts.

Arabtec said on Monday it earned net profit of 111.1 million dirhams ($30.25 million) in the three months to June 30, compared with a net profit of 183.9 million dirhams in the year-ago period.

Profit for the first six months of the year fell 29 percent to 245.6 million dirhams compared with a net profit of 345.1 million dirhams in the same period of 2009.

Analysts had forecast average second quarter profit of 148.3 million dirhams, according to a Reuters poll.

Arabtec is expanding overseas to diversify its portfolio away from Dubai’s once-booming property sector which has been hit hard by the global financial crisis as developers slow or cancel projects and jobs are slashed.

It is focussing on winning projects in new markets and has tendered for work in Turkmenistan, Azerbeijan and Angola.

Property prices in Dubai have been under pressure since late last year, when the financial crisis and a slump in oil prices ended a six-year economic boom in the Gulf region.

In July, UBS lowered its price target on Arabtec stock to 1.70 dirhams from 2.10 dirhams, citing potential cash pressures at some of its Dubai customers and a highly selective market in Saudi Arabia.

The builder reported its first ever quarterly loss in the fourtH-quarter after a charge of about $80 million for bad debts.

(Reporting by Dinesh Nair)

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