Majid Al Futtaim unveils expansion plan as revenues hit Dh35.2b
Majid Al Futtaim, a leading retail and mall operator in the region, on Monday unveiled expansion plans in the UAE and abroad in 2020, including the addition of two new shopping malls and other retail outlets.
Unveiling the expansion plans, the Dubai-based retail and leisure pioneer said that with the opening of two malls in Sharjah - City Centre Al Zahia, which will be the largest mall in the Northern Emirates, and Matajer Al Musalla - the company's shopping malls will increase to 28 this year.
In 2020, the group's supermarket chain, Carrefour, will open its first store in Uzbekistan, with plans for further expansion to new markets in Central Asia and Africa, the company said in a statement. "The company will also continue to increase the number of stores in its key markets and scale up its ecommerce capacity to meet growing online demand, through innovative fulfilment solutions in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, in particular."
In 2019, the group's revenue rose one per cent to Dh35.2 billion, while on the back of "solid operational performance driven by diversification efforts and a continued focus on cost efficiencies and scale," it managed to increase by one per cent Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) to Dh4.6 billion.
The company said its balance sheet remained strong with borrowing unchanged and total assets valued at Dh63 billion.
Alain Bejjani, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim - Holding, said that, in 2019, the company advanced diversification efforts by entering new countries and expanding footprint in priority markets, while maintaining strong financial discipline across its portfolio. "We reached more customers in new and existing markets, both online and offline, and this has been key to our continued success," he said in statement.
The statement said that the company witnessed strong growth in key areas of its business in 2019. "The company's long-term commitment to Egypt and Saudi Arabia has been rewarded as economic and social reforms have created new opportunities for VOX Cinemas and Carrefour to expand across both countries."
Bejjani also said that in line with the company's core values and responsibility towards the environment, sustainability remains a top priority for Majid Al Futtaim. "Securing a low risk ESG rating, issuing the world's first benchmark corporate Green Sukuk, and committing to phase out single use plastic from our operations were milestone moments in our sustainability journey."
Majid Al Futtaim expanded its footprint in 2019 with new market entry and core business growth, including the opening of Carrefour's first store in Uganda, the addition of three new shopping malls, and VOX Cinemas' continued expansion in Saudi Arabia with 78 new screens added.
Compared to 2018 figures, Majid Al Futtaim - Properties' Ebitda was unchanged at Dh3 billion, while revenue decreased by one per cent to Dh4.6 billion. "This was mainly due to the impact of challenging market conditions on revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the hotels business, despite outperforming the market in Dubai and a three per cent increase in room occupancy across the Majid Al Futtaim portfolio," it said.
In 2019, with three new shopping malls added as well as the revitalisation of existing assets, visitor figures increased by four per cent year on year to 200 million while the total occupancy of shopping malls remained strong at 93 per cent. The company opened two new regional malls; City Centre Sohar in Oman and City Centre Almaza in Egypt, as well as its first mall in Abu Dhabi, My City Centre Masdar, said the statement.