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Depa Reports First-Half Loss After Burj Khalifa Claim

Depa Ltd., the interior contractor that fitted out the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, posted a first-half loss after it set aside money to cover an interim claim related to the Burj Khalifa project.

The company had a net loss of 103.6 million dirhams ($28.2 million) after a profit of 92 million dirhams a year earlier, according to a statement on Nasdaq Dubai today.

Depa, which is based in Dubai and fits out luxury hotels, airports, cruise ships, malls and offices, said interim claims relating to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, should be resolved in time. The company added that it remains “healthy” and strong enough to pursue growth opportunities.

Order backlog increased to 2.4 billion dirhams as of Aug. 25 compared with 2.1 billion dirhams for all of 2009, Depa said. The company won a 104 million-dirham order from International Petroleum Investment Co. in Abu Dhabi and a 220 million-dirham fit-out contract for a five-star hotel in Angola.

“Management expects the backlog to remain at this healthy level and additional large contracts to materialize by the end of the year reflecting the strength of the company despite the economic environment,” Depa said, adding that Abu Dhabi and Singapore are replacing Dubai as an important source of revenue.

Depa shares fell 3.3 percent to 58 cents at 2:21 p.m. in Dubai trading today. The shares have gained 9.4 percent this year.

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