UDC’s QR5.5bn investments in long-term projects to ensure 'sustainable growth": Al-Khater
March 03 2020 08:27 PM
Al-Khater and al-Othman with other UDC directors at the company's ordinary general assembly here. PI
Al-Khater and al-Othman with other UDC directors at the company's ordinary general assembly here. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed

The company's ordinary general assembly on Tuesday approved distribution of cash dividends of QR177mn, equivalent to 5% of share par value.

UDC’s investments in long-term projects, with an estimated amount of QR5.5bn and in accordance with the company's five-year business plan 2019-2023, ensure its “sustainable growth and the creation of new opportunities and revenue sources” over the long term, said chairman Turki bin Mohamed al-Khater.

In line with this business plan, it is intended that capital contracts will be awarded for developing projects with an amount of QR3bn and with cash outflow for those contracts amounting to an estimated QR1.9bn during 2020, al-Khater said at United Development Company’s ordinary general assembly on Tuesday.

Chaired by al-Khater, the ordinary general assembly approved the distribution of cash dividends of QR177mn, equivalent to 5% of share par value.

During the meeting, the assembly approved UDC’s financial statements for 2019 and the appointment of KPMG as the company's external auditor for 2020.

Al-Khater said UDC’s development strategy focuses on supporting Qatar's real estate sector in line with the government initiatives to encourage and enhance real estate investment opportunities for local and foreign investors by providing all related necessary facilities and support.

As part of UDC’s constant endeavour to enhance the efficiency in managing its financial resources, it settled in 2019 bank loans instalments amounting to approximately QR532mn, which led to reducing the company’s financing cost by 13% compared to the year 2018

Al-Khater said, “The company has achieved a net profit of QR458mn and total revenues of QR1.76bn. The net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company was QR423mn with basic earnings per share of QR0.12. These profits are considered good and notable compared to that of major real estate companies in the region, which recorded significant losses”.

“These financial results demonstrate the achievability of UDC’s strategy of diversifying its revenues through the sale and leasing of real estate properties, while investing in the ongoing development of The Pearl-Qatar and long-term ventures, such as Gewan Island.”

Al-Khater stated, “The proposed dividends for this year are in line with the volume of the real estate projects that the company is developing and the cash outflow that will be spent on these projects during the year 2020.”

UDC president and chief executive officer Ibrahim Jassim al-Othman, also member, board of directors, described 2019 as a “year of focus and consolidation of efforts” behind UDC’s core business- real estate.

“The stability in occupancy rates at The Pearl-Qatar enhanced recurring revenue generated from the leasing of residential and retail units, as well as the sale of residential units and plots in 2019,” al-Othman said.

“Retail leasing witnessed an increase of 18% compared to 2018 and the opening of 65 new retail brands at The Pearl-Qatar, across the three main retail hubs in Porto Arabia, Medina Centrale and Qanat Quartier. Residential occupancy further thrived with 178 new rental contracts signed for UDC properties, while UDC residential sales achieved a 115% increase for completed units and a 35% increase for residential units under construction in Al Mutahidah Towers, compared to 2018.”

According to al-Othman, “Impressive sales of plots in Giardino Village, Floresta Gardens and Qanat Quartier Marina in addition to Gewan Island in 2019, are yet another indication that UDC is considered a trusted developer of premium real estate investment products”.

Highlighting the company’s plans and prospects for 2020, al-Othman said, “The fundamental development phases achieved in 2019 will enable UDC to pursue its growth journey, and to capitalise on two decades of excellence in the delivery of sustainable ventures to residents, investors, businesses and shareholders alike. As such, 2020 is going to be all about achieving our goals with Gewan Island being the cornerstone for our future developments”.

UDC, the master developer of The Pearl-Qatar and Gewan Island, is a leading Qatari public shareholding company with a mission to identify and invest in long-term projects contributing to Qatar’s growth and providing good shareholder value.

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