Dubai theme park operator DXB Entertainments narrows losses

The entrance to LegoLand at Dubai Parks & Resorts. (Supplied)
Updated 06 November 2018
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Dubai theme park operator DXB Entertainments narrows losses

  • Park attracts 501,394 visits in the third quarter
  • Still faces headwinds of tough tourism market

LONDON: Dubai theme park operator DXB Entertainments (DXBE) has posted a loss of 81 million dirhams ($22 million) for the third quarter as the company continues to battles headwinds in the tourism sector since the opening of its flagship theme park in late 2016.
The loss was an improvement on the 105 million dirhams earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITDA) loss the company reported in the third quarter of 2017, according to the filing on the Dubai stock exchange.
The company’s main asset — Dubai Parks and Resorts — which features attractions inspired by “The Hunger Games” film as well as Bollywood Parks and Legoland, opened the first phase of the park in 2016.
Visitor numbers have grown since then reaching 501,394 in the third quarter, a 5 percent increase on the same quarter last year. Year-to-date more than 1.9 million people have visited the park, an increase of 33 percent on the previous year.
Revenue however has slipped in the third quarter, reaching 103 million dirhams compared to 115 million dirhams in the same time period in 2017.
The third quarter is typically considered a slower period of growth due to the heat of the summer season putting off visitors.
DXBE is aiming to increase the number of international visitors to its parks, launching a number of joint advertising campaigns with Dubai’s flagship airline Emirates and Dubai Airports in the last quarter, according to its statement.
Mohamed Almulla, CEO and managing director, DXBE, said in a statement that the company would also be revising its pricing structure to increase admissions revenue.
“Increasing in-park spend is an additional revenue driver which we are focused on through a review of merchandise and F&B options offered in the parks,” he said.
He said that the business would continue “to focus on reaching EBITDA breakeven and we have achieved 51 percent improvement during the first nine months of 2018."


UAE’s Network International shrugs off Brexit to list shares in London

Updated 21 March 2019
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UAE’s Network International shrugs off Brexit to list shares in London

  • The planned share sale comes at an uncertain time in the UK
  • The company, which operates hospitals in the Middle East, was said to be also considering listing in the US or Singapore

DUBAI: Network International, the UAE payments processor, has committed to a London IPO next month in what would be the UK’s first big share sale of the year.
The company intends to have a free float of at least 25 percent and admission to the London Stock Exchange is expected to take place in April, Network International said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
The planned share sale comes at an uncertain time in the UK where there is still no clarity around whether Britain will leave the EU or not at the end of the month.
VPS Healthcare, the Abu Dhabi-based hospital operator, is reconsidering plans to list in London due to uncertainty surrounding Brexit, Bloomberg reported on Thursday citing a person familiar with the matter.
The company, which operates hospitals in the Middle East, was said to be also considering listing in the US or Singapore.
Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, owns 51 percent of Network International while Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic jointly own the rest.
The share sale will be a key test of investor demand for new listings in London after a subdued 2018 across most European markets.
“Volatility has continued in recent months, driven by the uncertainty around trade between the US and China, the wider geopolitical climate and the potential end of the current bull run,” said Peter Whelan, partner and UK IPO Lead at PwC in a recent report.
“We are seeing a healthy number of companies preparing for an IPO in 2019 despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations which have clearly impacted IPO activity on the London market.”
The payment processor reported earnings of $298 million last year according to its website, up from $262 million a year earlier. It does not disclose net income figures.
The company handles digital payments across the Middle East, which generate three quarters of its total earnings.
Last year it processed some $40 billion in payments for more than 65,000 merchants.
Its key markets in the region include the UAE and Jordan it says that Saudi Arabia offers “significant opportunities.” It also offers services in 40 African countries with Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa being its most important segments on the continent.