Despite the challenging situation, UDC was able to maintain development activities throughout the year where we succeeded in completing the planned development phases at The Pearl-Qatar and Gewan Island, said company chairman Turki bin Mohamed al-Khater
Shareholders of United Development Company (UDC) approved the distribution of cash dividends of QR177mn, equivalent to 5% of share per value during the Ordinary General Assembly presided over by UDC chairman Turki bin Mohamed al-Khater on Wednesday.
Additionally, UDC’s financial statements for 2020 were approved by the assembly, along with the appointment of KPMG as UDC’s external auditor for 2021.
Al-Khater said, “The company has achieved a net profit of QR265mn and total revenues of QR1.176bn. The net profit attributable to equity shareholders stood at QR226mn with basic earnings per share of QR0.064. There is no doubt that UDC operations were particularly affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus, and so were the profits achieved during 2020, which witnessed a significant decrease from 2019.
“Despite the challenging situation, UDC was able to maintain development activities throughout the year where we succeeded in completing the planned development phases at The Pearl-Qatar and Gewan Island.”
Al-Khater also said development activities at The Pearl-Qatar and Gewan Island are aligned with UDC’s business plan, which allocates QR5.5bn for investment in development projects.
Based on the business plan, he said it is estimated that in 2021 capital contracts will be awarded for development activities equivalent to QR585mn, while capital expenditure payments for new and existing projects under development will be equivalent to QR2.3bn.”
Al-Khater highlighted that as part of UDC’s constant endeavour to enhance the efficiency employed in managing its financial resources, it has settled in 2020 bank loans instalments worth approximately QR200mn, which led to reducing the company’s financing cost by 25% compared to 2019.
He said, “The proposed dividends for this year are therefore in line with the value of real estate projects that the company is developing and the cash outflow that will be spent on these projects during the year 2021, in accordance to the company’s five-year business plan.”
UDC president and CEO and Member of the board Ibrahim Jassim al-Othman described 2020 as “an exceptional year,” which demonstrated UDC’s ability to adhere to its business plan and maintain development activities according to the specified timeline without significant change in the development completion dates, which is an achievement in its own right.
“The stability in occupancy rates at The Pearl-Qatar contributed to achieving recurring revenues from residential and retail leasing, in addition to the sale of residential units and plots in 2020,” he said.
In this context, retail leasing witnessed an increase of 125% in new leased retail space in 2020 compared to 2019 and the opening of 28 new retail brands at The Pearl-Qatar, across the three main retail hubs in Porto Arabia, Medina Centrale, and Qanat Quartier, he said.
Residential occupancy further thrived with 140 new rental contracts signed for UDC properties, while UDC has succeeded in achieving returns from the sale of residential properties with the sale of 31 completed units at The Pearl-Qatar and the sale of 95% of residential units under construction in Al Mutahidah Towers, in addition to the sale of all completed villas and low-rise building plots in Giardino Village, as well as all residential plots in Qanat Quartier Marina. In Gewan Island, UDC finalised the sale of 70% of residential land plots.
“Achieving these figures in 2020, which presented many challenges, is yet another indication that UDC is considered a trusted developer of premium real estate investment products,” said al-Othman.
On the development side, UDC continued with the development of several projects at The Pearl-Qatar and Gewan Island where UDC has awarded the contracts for building and landscape, as well as Infrastructure packages.
Simultaneously, UDC completed marine works and made headway with infrastructure works, as well as Gewan Island’s main entrance bridge by completing main foundation works and installing support pylons. Significant progress was also achieved in Crystal Residence, which witnessed the completion of main stages within the common basement, with some of the buildings already reaching the third floor of construction.
In parallel, UDC moved forward steadily with development projects across The Pearl-Qatar, mainly Al Mutahidah Towers in Viva Bahriya, The Pearl-Qatar Commercial Showrooms in Abraj Quartier, three gated villa compounds and Floresta Galleria mall in Floresta Gardens, in addition to a gated villa compound, Giardino Mall and United School International in Giardino Village. Once completed, these projects will deliver a total of 692 residential units and more than 25,000sq m of leasable commercial space which will house prominent brands.
In 2020, UDC also announced new projects and signed technical services and management and operation agreements with Corinthia Hotels, for ‘Corinthia Gewan Island Qatar’ hotel, and its connected golf course and beach club in Gewan Island, in addition to the new Yacht Club at The Pearl-Qatar, which opens up broad prospects for expansion in the promising hospitality sector.
“The key development milestones achieved in 2020 will enable UDC to pursue its growth journey, and to sustain the delivery of sustainable and rewarding projects to residents, investors, businesses and shareholders alike,” al-Othman said.Last updated: March 04 2021 08:09 AM
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