DXB Entertainments annual losses more than double

DXB Entertainments (DXBE), which owns one of the largest theme parks in the Middle East, revealed that its annual losses have more than doubled. (Photo courtesy of DXBE)
Updated 12 February 2018
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DXB Entertainments annual losses more than double

LONDON: DXB Entertainments (DXBE), which owns one of the largest theme parks in the Middle East, has posted a net loss of 1.12 billion dirhams ($303.8 million) in 2017, despite reporting increased visitor numbers and implementing a cost-cutting strategy last year.
The company’s largest asset, Dubai Parks and Resorts, reported revenues of 552 million dirhams in its preliminary results for 2017. Revenue in the fourth quarter reached 157 million dirhams, marking an increase of 37 percent compared with the third quarter, according to a filing on the Dubai Financial Market.
While the company reported lower revenues of 76 million dirhams in 2016, the park only opened late that year and the full-year results reflect just three months of operations. DXBE posted a net loss of 485 million dirhams for that time period.
Total visits to the DXBE theme parks neared 2.3 million in 2017, with the fourth quarter delivering close to 796,000 visits, a 66 percent increase on the third quarter. The rise in visitor numbers had been widely anticipated with the fourth quarter a typically high tourist season in Dubai.
DXBE also revised its pricing strategy last year to drive up visit numbers to the parks and reviewed its marketing efforts to target GCC residents and some key international markets.
The company said its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) loss for 2017 was 422 million dirhams, but reported a “steady improvement” in earnings in the fourth quarter as a result of rising visitor numbers and reduced operating costs.
The Dubai-based theme parks were first launched in late 2016, with all of the rides and attractions across four parks, including those themed around the movie franchise “The Hunger Games,” fully open to the public on Oct. 20 last year.


Zimbabwe devalues currency to tackle economic crisis

Updated 2 min 1 sec ago
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Zimbabwe devalues currency to tackle economic crisis

  • Zimbabwe adopted the dollar in 2009 but introduced a parallel system of bond notes that it pegged at 1:1 to the US currency

HARARE: Zimbabwe’s central bank began trading a sharply discounted replacement currency on Friday, attempting to ease a cash crunch that has hobbled the economy and plunged millions deep into poverty.
Zimbabwe adopted the dollar in 2009 but, as a chronic hard currency shortage worsened, introduced a parallel system of bond notes that it pegged at 1:1 to the US currency.
Effectively reintroducing a national currency, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said on Wednesday it would carry out a “managed float” of the surrogate, which fetches far less than a dollar on the black market.
The bond notes and electronic dollars, locked in individuals’ accounts for months due to a lack of cash, will be merged into a separate currency called RTGS — or real-time gross settlement — dollars, the central bank said.
It sold US dollars to banks at 2.5 RTGS dollars on Friday morning, Bank Governor John Mangudya told business leaders.
Commercial banks reopened on Friday after a bank holiday, but with exchange facilities from bond notes to US dollars at the same 2.5 rate limited to individual and corporate holders of foreign currency accounts, queues outside appeared to be no longer than usual.
Other members of the public should, in theory, be able to go to banks on Monday and buy US dollars with bond notes or electronic dollars.
But it is not clear how many US dollars the central bank, which only has enough foreign exchange for two weeks of imports, has sold to banks.
The bond notes and notional electronic funds have plummeted on Zimbabwe’s black market in recent months to around 4 per dollar.
Many foreign traders have stopped accepting bond notes as legal tender, leaving businesses such as millers, brewers and miners hamstrung.
Economists cautiously welcomed the central bank’s decision to allow its currency to devalue.
The RBZ hopes its new measures will temper demand for dollars on the black market and ease inflation as the new currency settles at fair value.