UAE interiors specialist blames £18m H2 loss on claim relating to world’s tallest tower

The contractor that fitted out Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, has made a loss in the first half of 2010 due to a dispute on the skyscraper.

Depa, a UAE firm, made a net loss of 103.6m dirhams (£18.1m) in the first two quarters of this year, compared to a profit of 92m dirhams in the same period a year earlier, its interim report. Depa said this was due to money it had to set aside in order to deal with the claim on the Burj Khalifa, developed by Emaar.

Revenue for the period was 845.5 dirhams, down from 1,107.6m dirhams in 2009. The report said the top line had declined by 23.7% “mainly attributable to the impact of the claim for Burj Khalifa. This claim, if collected in full, would have reduced the drop in revenues to only 6.9% of the same period last year’s revenues. However, we have also seen a decline in Dubai-based projects… whereas our Abu Dhabi operations have witnessed growth of 51%.

For the first half of this year 26% of Depa’s revenue came from Dubai and 16% from the rest of the UAE. The majority of the rest was split roughly between the rest of the GCC, Africa and Asia, with 3% in Europe.

Mr Mohannad Sweid, chief executive of Depa, said the firm had “faced one outstanding interim claim relating to the Burj Khalifa project, which has had a significant impact on the Company’s interim results.”  The company added that it believe the claim would “be resolved in time” and that it had a healthy order book, with recent projects wins in Malaysia , Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and China.

Depa specialises in the interiors of luxury hotels, cruise ship and offices.