Dubai’s Artificial Islands Builder Nakheel Says Profit Doubles

Nakheel PJSC, the developer of Dubai’s palm-shaped islands, said first-quarter profit more than doubled on property completion payments and higher revenue from retail and leisure assets.

Net income climbed to 1.35 billion dirhams ($368 million) in the first quarter from 629 million dirhams a year earlier, the company said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday.

The state-controlled developer, whose losses in the financial crisis helped push Dubai to the brink of bankruptcy in 2009, has been reducing debt and focusing on building properties that generate recurring revenue. The company slashed its debt to 4.4 billion dirhams from 12.3 billion dirhams last year, according to the statement.

“We are well-positioned to pursue our strategy of creating more cash-generating assets and strengthening Nakheel’s asset base to further boost our business and financial results in the coming years,” Chairman Ali Rashed Lootah said.

Nakheel is targeting annual recurring income of 7.5 billion dirhams after the completion of hotels, shops and rental homes. The developer announced it plans to expand its Dragon Mart and Ibn Battuta Mall. It also intends to build hotels and retail space on Deira Islands, a man-made island originally planned as part of three palms started by Nakheel.

Nakheel said it paid all of the company’s 7.9 billion dirhams in bank debt four years early and the remaining 4.4 billion owed to trade creditors is due to be paid in August 2016.

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