Abu Dhabi’s Aldar profit rises

Aldar Properties, which built the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, the setting for the emirate’s Formula One Grand Prix, has seen its profits rise this year despite the coronavirus disease pandemic. (ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP)
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Updated 14 August 2020

Abu Dhabi’s Aldar profit rises

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi developer Aldar Properties reported a 2 percent rise in second-quarter profit on Thursday, though the company did not provide outlook for the rest of the year due to the  coronavirus disease pandemic.

The state-linked builder of Abu Dhabi’s Formula One circuit made 484 million dirhams ($132 million) in the three months to June 30, compared with 476 million dirhams a year earlier.

Revenue increased by 21 percent to 2 billion dirhams, driven by state projects and inventory sales, it said in a statement.

Aldar has not launched any new projects so far this year, and it made just under 1 billion dirhams in sales in the first half.

It had set a target of between 3.5 billion and 4 billion dirhams in sales this year before the pandemic.

Chief Financial Officer Greg Fewer told reporters investor and consumer demand in Abu Dhabi was encouraging, and while the company was “feeling good going into the second half of the year, no one is going to be in a position to guide.”

Aldar had to temporarily close or limit retail and hospitality operations in the first half due to government restrictions related to curbing the spread of the virus.


Bailout will keep Air France-KLM afloat for less than year: CEO

Updated 13 min 20 sec ago

Bailout will keep Air France-KLM afloat for less than year: CEO

  • ‘If we base it upon the past few weeks, it is clear that the recovery in traffic will be slower than expected’
  • Governments are coming under pressure to tie airline bailouts to environmental commitments

PARIS: Bailouts provided to Air France-KLM by the French and Dutch governments will keep the airline flying less than a year, its CEO Benjamin Smith said Monday and evoked the possibility of injecting new capital.
In an interview with the French daily l’Opinion, Smith also warned that calls for airlines to contribute more to fight climate change could be catastrophic for their survival which is already under threat due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When countries imposed lockdowns earlier this year to stem the spread of the coronavirus airlines faced steep drops in revenue that have claimed several carriers.
A number of countries stepped in with support, including France which provided $8.2 billion to Air France and the Netherlands which received a $2.9 billion package.
“This support will permit us to hold on less than 12 months,” said Smith.
The reason is that air traffic is picking up very slowly as many northern hemisphere countries are now fearing a second wave of infections.
“If we base it upon the past few weeks, it is clear that the recovery in traffic will be slower than expected,” according to Smith, who said when the bailout was put together the airline was expecting a return to 2019 levels only in 2024.
Smith said discussions were already underway with shareholders on shoring up the airline group, and steps would be taken before the next regular annual meeting in the second quarter of next year.
“One, three or five billion euros? It is too early to put a figure on a possible recapitalization,” he said.
The airline group had $12.12 billion in cash or available under credit lines.
Major shareholders include the French government with a 14.3 percent stake, the Dutch government at 14 percent, as well as Delta and China Eastern airlines which each hold an 8 percent stake.
Governments are coming under pressure to tie airline bailouts to environmental commitments.
One proposal that has come from a citizen’s convention convoked by President Emmanuel Macron would cost airlines an estimated $3.6 billion.
Smith said the imposition of environmental charges on the industry would be “irresponsible and catastrophic” for Air France-KLM.