Tecom Group, the creator of business districts and vibrant communities, has seen its revenue for financial year (FY) 2023 rise 10% to record AED2.2 billion and net profit jump 49% YoY to all-time high of AED1.1 billion ($300 million).
The strong financial performance was driven by robust demand from new and existing customers operating across all six sectors the group serves, underpinned by Dubai’s resilient economic performance, pro-growth and diversification government initiatives, and bullish consumer and business confidence.
Malek Al Malek, Chairman of Tecom Group, said: “2023 was a remarkable year for the UAE and Dubai’s economy, supported by strong performance across several sectors including the commercial real estate sector, which has outperformed other global markets. This has enabled Tecom Group to cement its position as the leading owner and operator of specialised business districts and a major contributor to the rapid growth of Dubai’s knowledge and innovation-based economy.
“In 2023, we continued to demonstrate the attractiveness of our assets and our ability to acquire new customers including major and market-leading global and regional companies, further strengthening, and expanding our diverse customer base. This is owed to our ability to deliver comprehensive and competitive offerings and solutions.
“Consequently, we have enhanced our position as the preferred destination for investors and entrepreneurs and talent from around the world. The Group delivered excellent financial results achieving record revenue and net profit and ended the year with a healthy liquidity position and robust balance sheet.
“As part of our commitment to delivering superior shareholder returns, and in line with our dividend policy, the Board of Directors is recommending a dividend payout of AED400 million to our shareholders for the second half of 2023. Our commitment to rewarding shareholders is a reflection of the strong FY 2023 performance and optimism in our ability to sustain the growth momentum in 2024.
“We will continue to unlock greater value for our shareholders, thanks to our unique capabilities that enable us to capitalise on promising market opportunities within Dubai’s robust macroeconomic backdrop, underpinned by pro-growth government initiatives, including Dubai’s D33.”
Abdulla Belhoul, Chief Executive Officer of Tecom Group, added: “Our strong financial performance reflects our ability to capitalise on favourable opportunities in Dubai’s attractive commercial and industrial market and satisfy demand trends by leveraging our unique and diverse offerings. We successfully converted demand-driven business growth into sustainable bottom-line expansion, thanks to our focus on operating at more efficient levels across the business which pushed EBITDA and EBITDA margins higher. We ended the year with a very healthy cash profile, further optimised our capital structure and maintained a robust balance sheet.
“What drove occupancy rates to 89% across our portfolio was strong demand for assets in all sectors, especially those catering to customers in the industrial sector. We also witnessed a demand surge for customers requiring premium office spaces in centrally located districts, such as the Dubai Design District. While the majority of our revenue is attributed to retained customers, we are also pleased with an almost 15% increase in the number of new customers from 2022, including welcoming F&B manufacturer Nutridor, technology service provider Endava, global herbal health specialist Himalaya Wellness, pharma giant AstraZeneca, and globally renowned School of Jewellery Arts L’ÉCOLE.”
“We anticipate the demand-induced growth momentum to be sustained in 2024 and beyond. With our well-balanced business model, access to strategically located land bank and prime assets, we are confident in our ability to satisfy demand trends and consolidate our market-leading position.”
Tecom’s revenue rise was driven by elevated occupancy rates on the back of high customer retention rates and an increase in the number of new customers across the Group’s portfolio.
As of December 31, 2023, the occupancy rate for commercial and industrial portfolio was 89%, registering the third quarter of sequential growth and a substantial increase from year-end 2022 occupancy rate of 86%.
The lease of industrial lands witnessed a strong demand in 2023, as the occupancy rate rose to 94%, compared to an occupancy rate of 81% during the year 2022.
EBITDA increased by 23% YoY to AED1.7 billion and the EBITDA margin expanded to 76% compared to 68% in 2022. The significant rise in EBITDA and EBITDA margin is owed to enhanced revenue quality, attributed to improving macro conditions.
Net profit jumped 49% YoY to an all-time high of AED1.1 billion driven by strong broad-based growth across the business, lower operational and financial costs, owing to the Group’s ongoing efforts to enhance operations, reduce costs to complement its funding needs and growth plans.
Funds from operations (FFO) stood at AED1.4 billion, representing a 21% YoY increase, on improved collections and increased performance of income-generating assets.
In June 2023, Tecom Group refinanced an existing AED7.6 billion loan facility at lower rates and more favourable terms, enabling it to reduce its financial costs in the second half of the year and ending the year at a very comfortable debt-to-equity ratio of 0.7x. As part of the refinanced facility, the Group can tap an AED3.2 billion revolving credit facility to invest in the business.
Following an independent valuation exercise, the market value of the Group’s real estate investments portfolio increased by 7.7% YoY to reach AED22.9 billion as of 31 December 2023, achieving a record growth of 18.2% since the IPO, which reflects the distinctive performance of its operational assets.
Revenue increased by 17% YoY to AED579 million, due to an increase in new customers including Yango, Sokovo, Himalaya Wellness and Nutridor, among others, as well as strong demand from existing customers.
EBITDA rose by 61% YoY to AED419 million with EBITDA margins expanding to 72% compared to 53% in the same period a year ago. Strong EBITDA performance is owed to higher top-line and enhanced operations.
Net profit more than tripled to AED311 million.
Q4 2023 corporate highlights
Global technology leader Sprinklr and Yango, a technology company dedicated to enhancing local communities through global innovations announced the inauguration of its new office at Dubai Internet City during GITEX Global 2023.
Global biotechnology company BeiGene opened its regional office at Dubai Science Park.
Dubai Science Park and EY announced early findings of their white paper focused on healthcare sector during COP28.
L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewellery Arts, founded in 2012 with the support of Van Cleef & Arpels, opened its doors in Dubai Design District (d3), with its inaugural exhibition, Garden of Emeralds.
Dubai Knowledge Park celebrated its 20th anniversary as the hub for lifelong learning and a catalyst for the region’s knowledge-based economy. It also secured the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Rubik’s Cube.
Sokovo inaugurated advanced hydroponic vertical farm at Dubai Industrial City to bolster national food security agenda.
Nutridor expanded its regional footprint of dairy brand Abevia with inauguration of AED75 million factory at Dubai Industrial City.
Himalaya Wellness has broken ground for its upcoming AED200 million state-of-the-art herbal pharmaceutical factory at Dubai Industrial City.
ESG 2023 highlights
In 2023, Tecom Group remained dedicated to transparent governance, driving economic growth, nurturing a diverse and inclusive workplace and fostering sustainable practices. Key highlights for the year include:
*9.83% increase in active startups, for a total of 380 active startups under the in5 incubator compared to 346 in 2022.
*Invested almost AED1.5 million into CSR activities that delivered initiatives such as ‘The Good Store’ and ‘WeWalk’.
*11% increase in clean energy generated to 12.35 GWh compared to 11.14 GWh in 2022.
*8 new LEED certified buildings, with a total of 30 LEED-certified buildings in 2023.
*Participation and active engagements during COP28 with several strategic partnerships formed with Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.--TradeArabia News Service