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| 17 October, 2017

Lebanon's Solidere incurs $19mln net loss in first half of 2017

A general view of under-construction hotels, at Beirut's downtown construction site, developed by Lebanon's biggest company and real estate firm, Solidere, September 25, 2009.

A general view of under-construction hotels, at Beirut's downtown construction site, developed by Lebanon's biggest company and real estate firm, Solidere, September 25, 2009.

REUTERS/Jamal Saidi

Solidere added that the consolidated revenues from services rendered fell by 8.5%

BEIRUT: Real estate giant Solidere recorded a net loss of $18.9 million in the first six months of 2017 compared to a profit of $72.1 million in the same period of last year, the company announced over the weekend.

“The consolidated results reflect Solidere’s standalone financials and those of its subsidiaries (the Group), which mainly include Solidere International Limited, and other subsidiaries such as Solidere Management Services s.a.l., BCD Cinemas s.a.l., Beirut Waterfront Development s.a.l. and Beirut Hospitality Company Holding s.a.l.,” the report said.

The company said that among the reasons behind the losses was the huge decline in property sales, although rents increased by 10 percent in the same period.

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“The Group’s consolidated revenues from land and real estate sales dropped to $94,500 in the first half of 2017 from $128.9 million in the same period of 2016, while revenues from rented properties grew by 10 percent to $30.7 million,” Solidere said.

The massive drop in property sales was one of the biggest setbacks in a sector that is vital for the company.

Solidere added that the consolidated revenues from services rendered fell by 8.5 percent to $3.3 million in the first half of the year, while revenues from hospitality services decreased by 16.8 percent to $170,000. “The firm’s total cost of revenues regressed by 63.8 percent year-on-year to $14.9 million in the covered period. As such, Solidere recorded total net operating revenues of $23.35 million during the first half of 2017, down by 80.6 percent year-on-year,” the report said.

The company’s general and administrative expenses increased by 6.1 percent in the first half to $19.3 million. Solidere’s consolidated assets reached $2.84 billion at the end of June and decreased by 1.4 percent from end-2016, with the inventory of land and projects in progress totaling $1.12 billion.

“Its total liabilities, including bank overdrafts, term bank loans and accounts payable, decreased by 2.55 percent from end-2016 to $840.8 million at the end of June 2017. The Group’s consolidated shareholders’ equity totaled $2 billion at the end of June 2017, down by 0.9 percent from $2.02 billion at end-2016,” the report said.

The company has the third-largest market capitalization on the Beirut Stock Exchange but Solidere’s shares are the most-traded stocks on the bourse.

The economic slowdown and the real estate crisis in general have taken their toll on the performance of Solidere, which relies heavily on foreign direct investments. Solidere A and B shares are currently trading below the $9 threshold over the past few months.

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