United Real Estate Company K.S.C.P (URC), a leading real estate developer in Kuwait and the MENA region, held its Ordinary Annual General Assembly Meeting (AGM) for the financial year ended 31 December 2021 at the Company’s headquarters at KIPCO Tower in Sharq. The meeting was held virtually through an online platform and chaired by Mr. Mazen Issam Hawwa, URC’s Vice Chairman & Group Chief Executive Officer, in the presence of URC Management Team and URC’s external auditors. The AGM quorum was 75.92%.
Following the Ordinary Annual General Assembly Meeting, Mr. Hawwa presented the Shafafiyah Forum with an overview of URC’s major achievements over the past year, including the Company’s return to profitability, demonstrating its resilience in adapting to challenging economic conditions in the past two years.
URC PERFORMANCE IN 2021
URC reported an operating profit of KD 5.7 million in 2021, compared to an operating loss of KD 3.2 million in 2020.
The Company also reported KD 84.9 million in total revenue in 2021, compared to KD 96.3 million in 2020, due to the limited offerings of government projects which affected Company’s contracting business.
The Company’s net losses saw a considerable decline of around 70% from KD 16.3 million in 2020 to KD 4.9 million in 2021 due to URC’s focus on efficiency in its operations during the year and improvements in its operational performance from commercial activities.
Commenting on the Company’s performance, Mr. Mazen Issam Hawwa said: “Despite the economic impact of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and its variants, URC overcame these challenges and returned to profitability supported by its sound business strategy and solid business model that enabled the Company to maintain its resilience and business continuity.”
Mr. Hawwa added: “With life gradually returning to normal, URC’s performance performance saw resilience through its business efficiency initiatives and proactive debt management and enhanced operations, which contributed to such results. URC also aligned its human capital with its corporate goals by onboarding new talents while empowering current ones.”
Performance of Existing Assets
Group companies achieved significant improvements in their operational performance. The Company’s subsidiary, United Facilities Management Company (UFM), saw a 20% increase in revenues from services.
In addition, occupancy at retail malls continued to improve. In Oman, the Salalah Gardens Mall & Residences became self-sustainable and can cover its expenses from its operational revenue. In Jordan, URC completed and started operating Abdali Mall’s solar power plant as part of the Company’s green initiatives that aim to enhance cost efficiency.
In Lebanon, we successfully leased 24 residential units at Raouche View 1090 for a five-year lease beginning in Q1 2022.
In the hospitality sector, occupancy at the Hilton Heliopolis in Egypt improved significantly due to higher demand in 2021 attributed to the recovery of tourism and business, while renovation works for World of Astoria Hotel are underway and set for completion by Q4 2022.
As for ongoing projects, URC significantly progressed with its projects under development for Hessah District, a mixed-use urban cluster that combines leisure, shopping, offices, and living areas in Kuwait. The total project is valued at KD 250 million. The Company launched in Hessah District the main works of our second luxury residential development, Byout Hessah, through awarding Alghanim International General Trading & Contracting Co. at the cost of KD 16.7 million and set for completion in 2023.
Additionally, URC appointed Ahmadiah Contracting and Trading Company as Main Contractor for the Commercial District, a bustling epicenter in Hessah District valued at KD42.6 million, and expected to be completed by 2023, with components including retail, F&B, offices, clinics, serviced apartments, and a community hub.
Demand for our award-winning projects at Hessah District increased in 2021, selling over 64% of residential units at Hessah Towers, which expects completion in Q4 2022, and 31% at Byout Hessah.
In Morrocco, URC completed infrastructure works in Assoufid - Phase 2 in anticipation of construction commencement for its award-winning, The St. Regis Marrakech Resort and its branded villas alongside other premium residences and a retail hub.
URC’S OUTLOOK IN 2020
Mr. Hawwa concluded his talk saying: “We anticipate a positive outlook in 2022 and beyond to bring more success stories for URC and our shareholders. The Company is well-equipped to continue its business resilience for the year ahead by optimizing its performing assets and investments, diversifying its sources of income, targeting viable investment opportunities, and expanding its portfolio of land assets. The Company is also seeking to merge Al Dhiyafa Holding Company (DHC) and United Towers Holding Company (UTHC) to enhance the Company’s income-generating asset portfolio and add value to the shareholders’ equity through issuance of new shares.”
As for the development of new projects, Mr. Hawwa added: “In 2022, URC’s development engine will also ensure timely delivery for its Hessah District projects in Kuwait, groundbreaking its five-star hospitality and premium residences in Assoufid, Morocco, and launching its high-end residential community, Avaris project, in New Cairo, Egypt.”
In closing, Mr. Hawwa extended a message of gratitude to the Board of Directors for their continued support of the Company, as well as to shareholders and customers for their trust, and the URC team for their dedication year after year towards reaching the Company’s goals and achievements.
In addition to the above annual review, the present shareholders at the Ordinary Annual General Assembly Meeting approved all items of the agenda for the financial year ended 31 December 2021, which also included voting for a new Board of Directors for the next three years (2022 – 2024) as follows:
- Sheikha Bibi Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Voted in Director on the Board
- Sheikh Fadel Khaled Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Voted in Director on the Board (Independent)
- Mr. Abdul Amir Qassem Jaafar Ali, Voted in Director on the Board (Independent)
- Al Dhiyafa Holding Company (DHC)
- Tadamon United Holding Company
- Azza Al-Zad Real Estate Co
- First North Africa Real Estate Company.
United Real Estate Company. K.S.C.P (URC) is one of the leading real estate developers in Kuwait and the MENA region, with consolidated assets of KD 600 million (US$ 2 Billion) as of 31 December 2021. Headquartered in Kuwait, URC was founded in 1973 and was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange in 1984.
URC primarily operates through several operating subsidiaries and investment arms across the MENA region. URC’s core business is real estate development and operations and enjoys a diversified portfolio of assets that include retail complexes, hotels, residential properties, and high-rise office buildings.
URC’s operations extend to construction and contracting services, facility management, and project management through its several subsidiaries. URC’s portfolio of assets is geographically spread throughout the MENA region such as Marina World, Marina Hotel, and KIPCO Tower in Kuwait, Salalah Gardens Mall & Residences in Oman, Abdali Mall in Jordan, Raouche View 1090 in Lebanon, Hilton Cairo Heliopolis & Waldorf Astoria Hotels, and Aswar Residences in Egypt, and Assoufid development including a golf resort, five-star hotel, and premium residences in Morocco.
URC is the real estate arm of its majority shareholder, Kuwait Projects Company – Holding (KIPCO Group), one of the biggest holding companies in the Middle East and North Africa, with consolidated assets of US$ 34 billion as of 31 December 2020. The Group has significant ownership interests in over 60 companies operating across 24 countries. The Group’s main business sectors are financial services, media, real estate, and manufacturing. Through its core companies, subsidiaries, and affiliates, KIPCO also has interests in the education and medical sectors.
Nasser Al Qallaf
Vice President – Marketing & Corporate Communications
United Real Estate Company
T (+965) 2295 3674
F (+965) 2244 1003