National Marine Dredging posts 57% decline in profit

Abu Dhabi’s National Marine Dredging (NMDC) blamed falling oil prices and regional instability for a 57 per cent slump in annual profits last year, but insisted it could find “a huge turnaround” in its fortunes in the coming years.

The company – whose projects have included the development of Abu Dhabi’s Corniche and Al Maryah Island – said that total comprehensive income fell to Dh89.5 million last year, its lowest level in eight years, compared to a Dh207.5m profit in 2013.

Revenue fell 36 per cent to Dh1.62 billion for the year.


Mohammed Al Rumaithi, NMDC’s chairman, attributed the fall in profit to “aggressive competition in the market”, and noted that falling oil prices and regional instability had prompted a more conservative approach to infrastructure spending by both governments and the private sector.

“We do acknowledge the fact that we haven’t reported encouraging numbers during this year,” he said to shareholders.

“But we would like to reassure you that you can find a huge turnaround in the performance of your company in coming years that will enable us to regain your confidence, which has waned in the recent period.”

NMDC, in which the Abu Dhabi government holds a 30 per cent stake, announced on Tuesday it had been awarded a Dh309m contract for Abu Dhabi’s Hail Field.

The company is part of a consortium including Van Oord, Boskalis and Jan de Nul that was awarded a US$1.5bn contract in October for the dredging of a new parallel channel to Egypt’s Suez Canal.

In September, NMDC reported a drop in second quarter revenue on delays to projects in Qatar and Bahrain. The company did not elaborate on the reasons for the delays.

Shares in NMDC – one of the most illiquid stocks on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange – were unchanged on Wednesday, as they have been since November.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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