Dubai's Emaar profits dip in summer slowdown

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- The Dubai-based developer of the world's tallest building reported a nearly 5 percent drop in net profit Tuesday, citing a seasonal slowdown, but said the balance sheet for the year remained strong.

Emaar Properties reported a 4.7 percent drop in third-quarter net operating profit to $ 105 million compared with $ 111 million for the same period last year. Traditionally, revenue slumps during the hot Gulf summer and during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which has fallen during summer in recent years.

Emaar, however, said a resurging real estate market and growth in the hospitality and retail sectors helped boost operating profits 29 percent for the first nine months of 2012. The company said net operating profit grew to $438 million for the nine-month period compared with $340 million for same period last year.

Emaar's portfolio includes the landmark Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the world's tallest building. Emaar says its retail and hospitality divisions posted a 17 percent revenue boost over the period.

A statement by Emaar Chairman Mohamed Alabbar says the company will seek further projects in "high-growth emerging markets." Emaar has joint projects in Egypt, India and other developing markets.