Dubai’s Emaar Properties reported a 55 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, slightly below analyst expectations. 
Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Emaar would make a quarterly profit of Dhs873 million.
Emaar launched several new projects in the quarter, with particularly strong sales in Egypt and Pakistan, totalling Dhs546 million and Dhs235 million respectively.
Total sales reached Dhs5.917 billion (1.611 billion), 94 per cent higher than the Dhs3.043 billion ($828 million) reached during the same period last year.
Emaar’s shopping malls & retail and hospitality and leisure businesses together contributed Dhs1.346 billion ($366 million) in recurring revenues during the quarter, nearly 60 per cent of total revenues and 15 per cent higher than the Dhs1.166 billion recorded in Q1 last year.
Shopping malls and retail made up over 38 per cent of total revenue at Dhs863 million.
Emaar chairman, Mohamed Alabbar, said all core sectors of the Dubai economy had performed well, including aviation, retail, tourism, trade and hospitality, which helped the developer’s growth, highlighted by an increased number of international investors in its projects, particularly in new markets.
“The increase in tourist arrivals to Dubai and the positive market sentiment have catalysed the growth of our shopping malls and hospitality business too, which contribute significantly to our recurring revenues. This year, led by our strategy to monetise key performing assets, expand to high-growth international markets and develop prime real estate assets in Dubai, we will continue to focus on delivering long-term value for our shareholders and in providing exceptional service standards to our customers,” he added.
Emaar plans to list up to 25 per cent of its Malls Group equity through a secondary offering of shares. The developer expects to make Dhs8 or 9 billion from the sale, which will be distributed as a dividend to shareholders.