Arabtec appoints former Dutco Balfour Beatty GM Wail Farsakh as group COO

Former Dutco Balfour Beatty GM joins as Arabtec aims to ‘re-establish itself as a leading contracting company in the region’

Arabtec Holding, the UAE-based contractor for social and economic infrastructure, has announced the appointment of Wail Farsakh as group chief operating officer.

With more than 33 years of experience in the UAE, Farsakh began his career as a structural engineer and progressed to general manager of Dutco Balfour Beatty (currently known as DBB Contracting). In this time, he has delivered civil, marine, roads, retail, residential and hospitality projects.

“I am delighted that Wail has joined us on the journey to re-establish Arabtec as a leading contracting company in the region. Wail’s track record demonstrates he is prepared to make the long-term commitment needed to build a sustainable business,” said Peter Pollard, group chief executive officer.

“With over 33 years’ experience working in the UAE, Wail will play a key role in building our presence in social and economic infrastructure. His experience across most contracting sectors will be important to integrating the Group’s operating companies into a more seamless contracting business.”

Earlier this year, Arabtec announced that it had appointed Adel Al Wahedi as the new acting Group Chief Financial Officer, following a stint at Abu Dhabi Ports Company, where he drove a major turnaround in the company’s financial performance over a period of six years.

In 2019, Arabtec has said that it will continue to focus on the collection of legacy receivables, shortening payment cycles, improving working capital and strengthening the balance sheet. This includes debt refinancing to provide a sustainable platform for the company’s future growth as a leading regional contractor, the company said in a statement at the time.

In August, the building giant reported that in H1 2019, total revenue declined by 12.4% and net profit to parent declined by 48.8% compared to the same period in 2018. Despite the decline in new awards during the first half of 2019, the group’s backlog remained strong at $3.81 billion.

In line with the Group’s strategic priority to strengthen the balance sheet, total debt was reduced by $101.5 million in H1 2019 and net debt to equity ratios improved to 0.56x compared to 1.24x in H1 2018, the company added.

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