Dubai mall firm Majid Al Futtaim aims to double in size after strong 2014

Reuters , Tuesday 27 Jan 2015

 Dubai mall operator Majid Al Futtaim signalled on Tuesday it expects the emirate to remain a magnet for shoppers, announcing plans to double its business within five years as it reported strong results for 2014.

The privately-owned firm said in a statement that revenue rose 11 percent to 25 billion dirhams ($6.81 billion) and earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) 10 percent to 3.6 billion dirhams. It did not disclose net profit.

Its Mall of Emirates complex features the first indoor ski slope built in the Middle East and vies with Emaar Malls' Dubai Mall for bragging rights as the emirate's most glamorous shopping centre.

"With an ambition to double the size of the business over the next five years, Majid Al Futtaim plans further investment to deliver world-class malls in the region," the company also said.

"Additional hypermarkets and supermarkets, as well as family entertainment centres, are also planned."

The company plans to open a megamall in Cairo, Mall of Egypt, construction of which was on schedule to finish in 2016, it said.

Majid Al Futtaim owns 13 shopping malls across the Middle East. These attracted 167 million visitors in 2014, up 6 percent from a year earlier, boosting EBITDA for that part of the business by 7 percent.

Majid Al Futtaim also holds the Carrefour supermarket franchise in 38 markets in the Middle East, Africa and central Asia, operating in 12 countries.

Property consultancy CBRE said in December it expected rising tourist numbers and planned festivities to make 2015 another strong year for Dubai's retail sector.

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