Abu Dhabi’s Aldar announces new formula to calculate dividends

Dividend to be based on underlying cash flow performance

PHOTO: Aldar, which is based in Abu Dhabi, will pay a cash dividend of 0.1 dirhams per share for 2015. Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties has announced the introduction of a new formula to calculate its dividends from 2016 onwards, which could lead to higher pay-outs for shareholders.

In its annual report, the real estate developer and investment firm said that the new dividend would be based on the underlying cash flow performance of its business.

Dividends would be made up of two parts, with the first being a pay-out of 65% to 80% of distributable free cash flow, derived from its wholly owned investment properties. Additionally, a discretionary second part, based on cash profits from the completion of newly-built developments would be included.

“There is a formula for dividend payouts from now on and dividends will grow as the company grows,” Abubaker al-Khoori, Aldar chairman, told Reuters on the side-lines of the firm’s annual shareholder meeting.

Aldar will pay a cash dividend of 0.1 dirhams per share for 2015, up from 0.09 dirhams per share for the prior year. The company has increased its focus on its leasing business in recent years, retaining ownership of its developments to rent out to tenants. These include residential, retail and commercial properties.

This approach provides the developer with recurring revenues, which are considered to be more stable than those derived from build-and-sell property development.

In 2015, the developer’s annual net profit was $697 million, an increase of 13% year-on-year, while its 2015 gross profit from recurring revenue was $411.13 million, a 49% increase from 2014.

“In our business model we have much more recurring revenues which are more visible,” said Greg Fewer, chief financial officer, to Reuters when asked if Aldar’s profit growth this year could match that of 2015. “Our recurring revenues are producing strong profits and (we) see them continuing in 2016.”

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