Investor and Media Centre

Depa reports FY2008 results, in line with expectations with strong revenue and profit growth

Mar 30 ,2009

Depa Limited (ticker DEPA) (‘Depa’ or ‘the Company’), one of the world’s leading interior contractors, today reports its full year audited results, for the year ended 31 December 2008 ; seeing strong growth in revenues and profits in line with expectations.


Financial Highlights


•  Net revenues up 38.9% at AED 1972.3m (2007: AED 1419.8m) with strong financial performance in line with market expectations driven by landmark projects wins

•  Net profit after minority interests up 39.9% at AED 224.5m (2007: AED 160.5m) prior to adjusting for additional contingencies due to the market climate

•  Increased allocation of project contingencies by AED 30m representing an increase of 250% over the conservative average figure allocated annually to projects. Accordingly, once provisions have been accounted for, net profit growth is 21.2%

•  Over AED 3.7bn in contracted backlog as of December 31st 2008

•  Since period end, Depa has received orders for 17 projects coming from Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE

•  Strong net cash position of AED 343.3m

•  Dividends will be 35% of net profits, resulting in a one time payment of AED 0.11 per share


Strategic Highlights

•  Depa’s strategy of increasingly focusing on counter-cyclical industries, such as refurbishment and infrastructural work, with less dependence on hospitality, has been a major contributor to revenue and backlog growth.

•  Strategy of diversifying revenue away from the UAE has reduced risk of overreliance. MENA contract income was AED 343.1m (2007: AED 225.3m) and Rest of World contract income AED 141.5m (2007 AED 37.1m)

•  Depa has continued to be selective over projects it works on and the clients for which it works. Choosing to stick with reputable international companies has reduced, to a very low level, project and client concentration risk.

•  Operational changes such as business streamlining, investment in new technologies, and subcontracting less work, has strengthened Depa’s position during these difficult economic times.


Commenting on these strong results, Mr. Mohannad Sweid, CEO of Depa, said:

""Revenues and profits have continued to be strong and in line with our expectations for 2008. Given the current economic climate, we are proud of these results as they show the strength of the business we have built. We feel we are well placed to continue to generate significant earnings from our established key markets as well as developing new opportunities from diversified geographies and industries.""


Strategic Initiatives and Outlook

Focus on Counter-Cyclical Industries

Infrastructure
The UAE and Dubai Governments have recently reasserted their commitments to completing infrastructure developments. Depa saw an opportunity here and has recently increased involvement in this type of work, such as the fitting out of 13 Dubai Metro stations. This has proved to be very successful, exceeding all expectations, to such an extent that Depa has decided to aggressively grow its new joint-venture, Linder-Depa, which focuses solely on infrastructure and hospital fit outs. In 2008, Depa completed AED176m in infrastructure contracts, compared to AED60m in the previous year.

Refurbishments
Depa has recently signed and completed significant amounts of refurbishment work, such as the extensive renovation of the Al Bustan Rotana. Depa also expects several more hotels coming to them with refurbishment requests in the very near future, as hotel groups see this as more cost-efficient capital expenditure and the market size in this niche increases. Since January 1 2009, Depa has signed refurbishment contracts to the value of AED200m, indicating the extent to which Depa sees potential in this market.


Geographical Diversification

Reducing reliance on the UAE market
Depa sees potential slowdown in some markets and continued growth in others. Accordingly, and based on the sudden shift in expectations from different markets, Depa will be re-evaluating the areas in which they are expanding their businesses, and may be consolidating business units to reflect this shift in growth expectations. 2008 saw 73% of the profits come from the UAE, compared to 79% in 2007. One of Depa’s main goals for the near future is to generate approximately 40% of their revenues from outside of the UAE by 2010.

Entering new markets as planned
2008 saw its joint venture, Depa Design Studio, successfully win two prestigious contracts in Singapore; the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort and an entertainment venue at Resorts World, an all encompassing holiday resort on the popular island of Sentosa.

Increased holding in Jordan Wood Industries Company (JWICO)
Depa is now in control of 36.4%, up by 22%, of the Jordan-based wood manufacturing specialist. This is also part of clear vertical integration strategy of acquiring manufacturing and procurement businesses, and also works towards achieving the Company’s goals of being less reliant on the UAE market.


Operations

Streamline the business
Depa has taken the opportunity provided by the shift in the global economic climate to operationally streamline the business using annual performance reviews to determine staffing and training needs and requirements. Ultimately, experiencing an added increase in productivity and efficiency.

Investment in technology and information systems
In 2008, Depa began the implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning system, which is expected to be completed and fully implemented in early 2010. This will allow an increase in economies of scale, improve control in differing geographical territories and will further enhance Depa’s risk-management procedures.

Subcontracting approximately 80% of project values and workforce on a project
As a result, the company has a very flexible workforce and manufacturing base. An economic slow-down would therefore result in subcontracting out a lower proportion of work, and completing a higher portion using in-house resources. This ensures that Depa’s capacity usage and productivity remain high and that they are in a strong position regardless of market turns.


For the full version of the annual report and the audited financial statements, please visit the NASDAQ Dubai or Depa Limited websites.


For further inquiries, please contact:

Depa Limited
Noor Sweid
Managing Director, Strategy
Tel: +971 4 224 3800
Email: noor.sweid@depa.com

Brunswick Gulf Ltd
Rupert Young / Azadeh Varzi
Email: ryoung@brunswickgroup.com / avarzi@brunswickgroup.com
Tel: +971 4 365 8260


About Depa Limited
Depa Limited is a leading interior contracting company in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia regions. Operating principally in the luxury fit-out industry, its main areas of business cover 5 star hotels, high-end residential properties, retail outlets, yachts, as well as public sector amenities such as hospitals and airports. Depa is listed on the NASDAQ Dubai (ticker DEPA) and has Global Depositary Receipts on the regulated market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange plc (ticker DEPA and DEPS).

The range of business activities performed by Depa comprises:

Interior contracting: which focuses on luxury interior fit-out services, which include installation and finishing of floors, walls, ceilings, fixed joinery, panelling, wood-works, doors and frames;

Manufacturing: which comprises a network of factories and joineries which produce customized furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E);

Procurement: which involves the procurement of supplies and materials from third parties to support and complement Depa's interior contracting and manufacturing operations as well as third party procurement contracts for specific FF&E projects.

By integrating these services into a single package, Depa provides clients with comprehensive and customized interior contracting solutions.

With more than 8,000 employees worldwide, the company operates through an integrated network of subsidiaries, affiliates and representative offices located in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Morocco, India, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Singapore, UK, the Netherlands, and the United States. Through this network, Depa has successfully executed large and complex projects in over 16 countries including the Burj Al Arab Hotel (Dubai), Emirates Palace (Abu Dhabi), the Museum of Islamic Art (Doha), Four Seasons Hotels (Sharm El Sheikh & Mumbai) and Mazagan Resort (Casablanca).

For more information, please refer to the corporate website: www.depa.com

 

CONTACT US

Depa Group, Vision Tower,
35th Floor, P.O. Box 56338,
Dubai, U.A.E.
T: +9714-446-2100
F: +9714-446-2102
info@depa.com

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