Majid Al Futtaim Reports Resilient Growth on the Back of Mall Expansions and New Developments in 2015

01 Feb 2016
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Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa, today reported its preliminary and unaudited operational and financial results for the full year 2015, showing consistent performance as the company prepares to implement further expansion across the region.

Key Highlights: 

Note:  The following information is a trading statement based on unaudited management accounts for Full Year ended 31 December 2015.

  • Overall group revenue up 8% year-on-year to AED 27.3 billion for full year 2015
  • EBITDA up 6% at AED 3.8 billion
  • 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of City Centre Deira
  • Successful opening of the new Mall of the Emirates 36,000 m2 expansion and completion of City Centre Muscat’s 10,000 m2 redevelopment
  • VOX Cinemas was the fastest growing cinema chain, adding 58 new screens in the region
  • 9 new Carrefour hypermarkets, 11 new supermarkets and 5 convenience stores added
  • City Centre network expanded to 13 malls in the region with the opening of City Centre Me’aisem and City Centre Shindagha
  • Apple’s first flagship store launched in the MENA region at Mall of the Emirates
  • Opened Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Mall of the Emirates, the group’s first LEED Gold hotel
  • Recognised with more than 15 industry awards, including ‘Retailer of the Year’ from Arabian Business
  • Achieved 11 sustainability awards, with City Centre Mirdif becoming the largest mall in the world to receive LEED Gold accreditation
  • City Centre Me’aisem awarded for its excellence in sustainability with LEED Platinum title
  • Issued its first 10 year USD 500 million Sukuk
  • BBB credit rating reaffirmed by Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s

Dubai: Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa, today reported its preliminary and unaudited operational and financial results for the full year 2015, showing consistent performance as the company prepares to implement further expansion across the region.

The company saw revenue grow by 8% to AED 27.3 billion (FY 2014: AED 25 billion) while group EBITDA increased by 6%, reaching AED 3.8 billion (FY 2014: AED 3.6 billion). Performance was largely driven by continued investment in core businesses across Dubai and increased development activity in Egypt and Oman. The company continues to maintain a strong balance sheet with total assets valued at more than AED 51 billion and a net debt of around AED 9 billion.

Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim - Holding, said: “Majid Al Futtaim’s 2015 financial performance has demonstrated the strength and resilience of our business against a backdrop of a regional economic slowdown. We’ve achieved this by continually listening to our customers and evolving our offerings in line with their changing needs. During the past year, we enhanced our offering in Dubai, successfully completing a number of retail and leisure projects, including the 36,000 m2 expansion at Mall of the Emirates. The new expansion introduced a more luxurious VOX Cinemas experience, popular international retail brands, including Apple and Abercrombie & Fitch, and a range of new restaurants and cafes.  We will continue to leverage our local experience and operational excellence across the region, in line with plans to create more great moments for more customers in more countries. With several large scale developments currently in the pipeline in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Africa, we are well positioned to fully leverage the significant growth potential of the Middle East and North/East Africa region.” 

Operating Company Performance

Majid Al Futtaim Properties: Majid Al Futtaim Properties expanded its portfolio in 2015, reporting an increase in revenue of 7% to AED 4 billion, while EBITDA rose by 9% to AED 2.6 billion, contributing about 65% of the group’s EBITDA. Occupancy across all shopping malls remained strong at 98%. With completed expansions at Mall of the Emirates and City Centre Muscat and the opening of City Centre Me’aisem, the company welcomed 171 million customers throughout 2015, a 3% increase, as compared to full year 2014. Majid Al Futtaim’s hotels experienced a decline in revenue per available room (RevPAR) of about 7%, despite outperforming the broader hospitality market which dropped by almost 10%. In 2015, the company completed the refurbishment of Kempinski - Mall of the Emirates and the opening of Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Mall of the Emirates.
 
Majid Al Futtaim Retail: Majid Al Futtaim’s retail business launched 9 new Carrefour hypermarkets, 11 supermarkets and 5 convenience stores in 2015, strengthening its presence to more than 150 outlets in 13 countries across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Overall revenues increased by 7% year-on-year to AED 22 billion. EBITDA rose by 2% to AED 1.2 billion, driven primarily by entry into new markets, additional store openings in existing markets, and improving competitiveness in the food department.

Majid Al Futtaim Ventures: The company’s diverse portfolio of cinemas, leisure and entertainment, fashion, healthcare, consumer finance, food & beverage and facility &energy management reported strong financial performance, with overall revenues increasing by 34% to AED 1.4 billion (AED 2.0 billion including joint ventures). With the launch of 58 new screens, VOX Cinemas was the fastest growing cinema chain in the region and saw a 40% increase in ticket admissions. The development of 5 new Family Entertainment Centers (Magic Planets) saw the number of outlets rise to 22 across the region. The company introduced 6 new leading global fashion brands to its portfolio, including Abercrombie & Fitch, lululemon athlethica, Monsoon, Accessorize, AllSaints and Peacocks, and opened 4 additional Lego Certified stores in the UAE & Kuwait. EBITDA increased by 22% to AED 186 million, compared to the previous year.

Expansion Plans

Majid Al Futtaim’s expansion programmes are progressing as planned. Although UAE remains the core focus for the company, it is on track to solidify its presence in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Oman, and establish a stronger foothold in Africa and Eurasia through its Carrefour business.

The company announced plans to develop a second My City Centre, a 5,000 m2 mall in Al Barsha that is expected to be completed in Q3 2016.

In 2015, the company re-affirmed its five-year investment plan in Egypt, which is expected to create more than 144,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities and reflects the company’s commitment to expansion in the country. The plan includes the development of Mall of Egypt, which is set to open in Q3 2016 and will feature Ski Egypt and the country’s first VOX Cinemas. The investment plan also includes the development of City Centre Almaza, the third City Centre in Egypt, which is due to open in 2019.

Majid Al Futtaim is also expanding its presence with shopping mall concepts in Saudi Arabia.

In line with its long-term commitment to the wider region, Majid Al Futtaim has established plans to expand in Africa. The company will initially focus on development in Eastern and Southern African nations, with Kenya set to be the first destination for Carrefour in 2016.

Financing

The company has continued to maintain a very strong financial and liquidity position covering its net financing needs of the next 2-3 years through its cash and available committed lines.

In November 2015, the company issued a USD 500 million 10 year Sukuk, extending the average life of the company’s debt portfolio to 5 years and further improving its balanced debt maturity profile. This is the longest dated Sukuk the company has issued and the second issuance so far under its USD 1.5 billion Sukuk Programme. “In line with our conservative approach, we continue to stay committed to proactively managing our future financing plans and opportunistically optimizing our debt portfolio depending on market conditions and always within the capacity of our credit rating” Jürgen Schulte-Laggenbeck, the company’s Chief Financial Officer explained.

Both Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s have reaffirmed the company’s credit rating at BBB with a stable outlook during the year, reiterating its credit strengths such as quality of assets, strong corporate governance and prudent financial management.

 
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