Dubai's Arabtec may break even in 2016

Posted on 21st April 2016

Loss-making Dubai contractor Arabtec may break even in 2016 and should return to profit the following year, the company's chairman said on Wednesday.

Arabtec made a loss of Dh2.35 billion ($639.9 million) in 2015, which it blamed on rising costs and tough market conditions, with the Gulf construction sector entering a marked slowdown as the slump in oil prices led governments to rein in spending.

"2015 was a severe year, 2016 is still tough. I am confident of 2017, that's when I see (profit)," Mohamed Al-Rumaithi told reporters on the sidelines of the company's annual shareholder meeting when asked when the company would return to profitability.

"For 2016, maybe we will break even," he said when asked if that meant the company would make another annual loss this year.

Rumaithi said Arabtec aimed to cut costs and this could include job cuts, although he declined to specify how many jobs might go or how much could be made in savings, according to Tradearabia news report.

"There's some fat to be taken out," he said.

The company also plans to streamline its operations: its most recent financial statement lists more than 50 subsidiaries.

"We are a construction company, we will concentrate on our core business (of) construction," said Rumaithi. "If it's not related, we're out; if it's related we're still in."

Arabtec will go to banks for funding but there will be no bond issues for the time being, he said.

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