Emaar Malls, the shopping malls and retail business majority-owned by Emaar Properties, recorded an increase in net profit by 7 per cent to Dh584 million during the first quarter of 2019, compared to the net profit of Dh548 million, during the first-quarter of 2018.
Revenue for the first three months of 2019 reported a growth of 4 per cent to Dh1.075 billion ($ 293 million), compared to Q1 2018 revenue of Dh1.038 billion. The growth of Emaar Malls was underlined by the strong performance of its shopping mall assets including The Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, and the Community Retail Centres.
At its fourth Annual General Meeting, Emaar Malls approved a cash dividend of Dh1.301 billion ($354 million), equivalent to 10 per cent of share capital, for the fourth consecutive year, highlighting the company's commitment to sustained value creation for its shareholders.
These assets maintained strong occupancy levels at 92 per cent, and robust visitor arrivals at 36 million, 3 per cent higher than 35 million visitors during Q1 2018. The visitor footfall to The Dubai Mall, which welcomed over 80 million annual visitors for the past five consecutive years, was 22 million during the first three months of this year. This was supported by the growth in tourist arrivals to Dubai and increased frequency of visit by local residents.
Namshi full acquisition
In a key growth initiative that underpins its omnichannel retail strategy, Emaar Malls fully acquired Namshi, the leading regional fashion e-commerce retailer. This follows the group acquiring the remaining stake of Global Fashion Group (GFG) in Namshi, in an all-cash transaction of Dh475.5 million. Namshi reported sales of Dh167 million during Q1 2019.
Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties and Board Member of Emaar Malls, said: "As a pioneer in delivering innovative retail experiences for our visitors, Emaar Malls has reported consistent growth. This year, our strategy is to draw on our superior asset mix and continuously enhance our offering through well-planned extensions of The Dubai Mall and other retail destinations. Strengthening our omnichannel retail presence, highlighted by the acquisition of Namshi, is another growth driver that enables us to meet the aspirations of the new generation of tech-savvy customers."
Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, chief executive officer of Emaar Malls, added: "The positive performance of Emaar Malls this quarter is driven by two key strategic imperatives: the continued introduction of newness across product categories in The Dubai Mall with the launch of 12 new brands in the quarter, and the successful execution of special events and retailers activations around Dubai Shopping Festival and Chinese New Year, along with the strong customer response to our Spring Fashion campaign. Enhancing the visitors experience and driving retail sales across all Emaar Malls assets remain our top priority."
As part of its strategy to drive robust retail growth downtown, Emaar Malls has confirmed the openings of The Dubai Mall's Zabeel and Fountain Views extensions that link The Dubai Mall to Financial Centre Road and to the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, respectively. Both extensions will open in the coming months and jointly add 4,500 additional parking spaces to The Dubai Mall.
Emaar is also set to open Dubai Hills Mall, a family retail district in Dubai Hills Estate in 2020, which will offer a GLA of about 2 million sq. ft. and feature about 550 retail and entertainment destinations. Dubai Hills Mall will have four major family entertainment and leisure centres as well as a cineplex, hypermarket, seven anchor retail experience stores, and over 7,000 dedicated parking spaces. In terms of Community Retail Centres, Emaar Malls is redeveloping Meadows Village to increase its GLA by approximately 95,000 sq. ft. It is scheduled for completion in late 2019.
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