Majid Al Futtaim to focus on economic expansion, regional prosperity, says Bejjani

The company's revenue jumped 15 per cent to of Dh18 billion in H1 2022.



by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 24 Aug 2022, 7:38 PM

Strong customer-focused strategy supported by unrivalled data and analytics capabilities has enabled Majid Al Futtaim to deliver sustained growth through H1 2022, said Alain Bejjani, chief executive officer of Majid Al Futtaim – Holding on Wednesday as the company announced its audit reviewed operational and financial results for H1 2022.

"Our efforts have been further amplified by Mena’s steady progress in moving beyond post-pandemic recovery as we collectively turn our efforts toward economic expansion and regional prosperity," said Bejjani.

The leading shopping malls, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia reported a revenue of Dh18 billion, an increase of 15 per cent compared to H1 2021.

EBITDA rose 18 per cent to Dh1.9 billion, a result of the company’s solid operational performance, driven by diversification efforts and a continued focus on cost efficiencies and scale. The group continues to maintain a strong balance sheet with total assets valued at around Dh62.9 billion. Net borrowings stood at Dh11.2 billion.

Alain Bejjani, chief executive officer of Majid Al Futtaim – Holding.
Alain Bejjani, chief executive officer of Majid Al Futtaim – Holding.

"The growth delivered in the first half of the year is encouraging. While our region is not immune to building global inflation and supply chain pressures, Majid Al Futtaim remains optimistic towards the broader economic outlook. Our prudent financial discipline and strong governance ensures our resilience in the face of any immediate impact while ensuring we are well-positioned to remain focused on sustainable value creation," added Bejjani.

The group continues to benefit from a sustained post-pandemic rebound in consumer confidence, as evidenced in increased shopping mall footfall, hotel occupancy rates, and admission to its cinemas and leisure and entertainment venues.

Retailing trends, such as the consumer demand for digital and omnichannel experiences, have continued to gather pace. The group continues to be well-placed to capitalise on digital opportunities in order to invest, innovate and elevate its offering to meet evolving consumer wants and needs.

Majid Al Futtaim continues to take the necessary steps to mitigate any immediate inflationary impact stemming from supply chain strain while focusing on its long-term strategy of sustainable value creation.

Properties

Compared to 2021 figures, Majid Al Futtaim – Properties’ revenue rose 51 per cent to Dh2.4 billion, while EBITDA was up 27 per cent to Dh1.4 billion.

Shopping mall tenant sales increased by 21 per cent, while footfall increased 20 per cent to 100 million visitors compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the hotel portfolio’s revenue grew to Dh 333 million driven by a lower base of 2021 due to capacity restrictions. RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) and average occupancy rates climbed 142 per cent and 43 per cent, respectively.

New community launches in Tilal Al Ghaf remain well-received by the market. The Alaya Beach project and Elysian Mansions, consisting of ultra-exclusive mansions and grand villas, were released in February and May, respectively, and recorded sales of over Dh 2.4 billion, with 181 units sold by June 30.

Retail

Majid Al Futtaim – Retail recorded a 9 per cent increase in revenue, standing at Dh14.4 billion for 2022, while EBITDA fell 9 per cent to Dh 567 million.

The growth in retail is driven by the Dh268 million increases in revenue for LFL sites, and growth in digital sales of Dh453 million. H1 2022 revenue increase in comparison to H1 2021 is due to restored consumer purchasing power and higher tourism rates – a further result of loosened Covid-19 restrictions.

Continuing to expand its international footprint, Majid Al Futtaim also opened 18 new stores across its geographies. In line with the global transformation to digital retail services, the Group invested in the development of express commerce, seeing a 73 per cent increase in digital sales. In addition, Majid Al Futtaim Retail opened the UAE’s first BIO store in January, featuring the retailer’s first ever café and an in-store hydroponic farm.

Leisure, Entertainment and Cinemas (LEC)

Majid Al Futtaim – LEC registered a 56 per cent increase in revenue to Dh784 million and a rise in EBITDA to Dh 33 million, largely due to the lifted operating capacity restrictions.

Cinemas’ admissions increasing by 60 per cent to 8.8 million. The strong results are a result of better performance in Q1 revenues, and better than expected performance of new content releases.

Lifestyle

Majid Al Futtaim – Lifestyle registered a 42 per cent rise in revenues to Dh360 million and EBITDA of Dh3 million, mainly driven by Lululemon’s international expansion and growth in sales for CB2, Abercrombie & Fitch, LEGO, AllSaints, and Crate & Barrel.

Future Investment

In its pursuit of being economically resilient during the second half of 2022, Majid Al Futtaim will continue to support sustainable economic development while adhering to a prudent financial management strategy.

Majid Al Futtaim is wholly committed to the markets in which it operates, working to deliver exceptional experience not just for its customers but tenants, employees and its key stakeholders. The business will also look at investing on corporate initiatives including digital transformation, data and analytics, customer experience and loyalty programmes.

Majid Futtaim Properties continues to make progress on its pipeline development projects, including Mall of the Emirates redevelopment and Mall of Saudi.

Majid Al Futtaim – Retail will reinforce its leadership position in core markets and will continue to invest and scale up its omnichannel presence, enhance its network of stores and grow its food and health businesses to meet consumers’ evolving needs.

Financing

Majid Al Futtaim’s robust balance sheet has allowed it to maintain a strong financial and liquidity position thanks to the steadily recovering market conditions. The company’s debt maturity profile remains light with no material debt maturity until May 2024.

Despite challenging macroeconomic conditions and volatile financial markets, in June 2022 the Group tendered its $500 million outstanding hybrid notes with the first call date falling in September 2022 and replaced them with a new USD 500 million Green hybrid notes with a first call date falling in September 2027. This was the Group’s first hybrid transaction in green format and the first green corporate hybrid from Mena.

For the 11th consecutive year, the company’s credit rating has been maintained at ‘BBB’ with a stable outlook by both S&P’s and Fitch Ratings. The ratings reiterate the company’s credit strengths, resilience of its business model, quality of assets, strong corporate governance, and prudent financial management.

— business@khaleejtimes.com


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