Doha – Qatar, Monday 30th March 2015: Barwa Real Estate Co. (Q.S.C) held yesterday its Ordinary Annual General Meeting, with a complete quorum of 61.91%, at 04:30pm in Salwa Hall, Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Hotel in Doha. Barwa Board of Directors discussed with shareholders all points listed on the meeting agenda, in addition to discussing and approving Auditors’ report and Sharia Supervisory Board report.
H.E. Mr. Salah Bin Ghanim Al Ali, Chairman of Barwa Real Estate Group, presented the Board of Directors report on the company’s activities and its financial position for the year ended 31/12/2014. It included a full review of the company’s achievements, its financial results in 2014 and its future plans.
Driven by Qatar’s strong economic performance and the large scale economic diversification program as part of Qatar National Vision 2030 and National Development Strategy, the real estate sector continues its growth momentum delivering quality projects supporting the infrastructure development. Barwa, being a leading player with competency across the complete value chain of real estate development, investment, operational management and financial services continued its history of strong growth and achieved best performance in its local and international investment portfolio.
COMPANY’S PERFORMANCE AND ACHIEVEMENTS
2014 was an exceptional year for Barwa, during which the group was able to accomplish strong financial and operational performance. The Management is working towards achieving the best to position Barwa towards achieving its vision to be “reliable real estate company recognized for its strong values, excellence and sustainable returns to its stakeholders”. 2014 marked the completion of the portfolio turnaround phase, cleaning up the balance sheet, offloading the heavy legacy assets, removing the high liabilities associated with these assets, achieving sustainable cost savings and high profitability margin. We have also implemented several initiatives aimed at enhancing the operational efficiency, appropriate capacity building and outstanding performance culture.
Some of the key accomplishments for 2014 include;
We have achieved a net profit of QR. 2,778 Million with QR. 7.14 per share compared to Net Profit of QR. 1,375 Million with QR. 3.53 per share in 2013. As a result of implementing good financial discipline and successful capital recycling, we have accomplished sustainable cost savings as reflected in decrease of general and administrative expenditure from QR. 430 Million in 2013 to QR. 335 Million in 2014 and reduction of the total liabilities from QR. 32,813 Million in 2013 to QR. 12,984 Million in 2014, as well as increasing the shareholders ownership rights in the group from QR 13,811 Million to QR 15,759 million.
As part of the framework agreement finalized with Qatari Diar for divestment of selected assets, we completed sale of shares of Barwa City and Barwa Commercial Avenue to Labregah.
We concluded the sale of two plots of Barwa City -2 in Mesaimeer, settlement of plot 1 has been completed in 2014 and the second plot transaction will be completed in early 2015.
We signed the agreement to buy shares in the Arcapita Lusail development company, the transfer of ownership completed in January 2015. As a part of the deal Barwa has got the ownership to develop 3.6 million Square meters of land area which is a significant addition to Barwa land bank.
Barwa agreed with the government of Qatar to develop BOT (Built operate and Transfer) projects Madinat Mawater and Manateq.
Subsidiaries continued to contribute to Barwa’s performance in 2014; the performance is due to the combined effort of Qatar Real Estate Investment Company “Alaqaria”, Qatar project Management (QPM) and Waseef Property Management Services.
Barwa Operating assets exceeded more than 95% occupancy rate in 2014.
GOVERNANCE, SYSTEMS AND RISK MANAGEMENT
The Board of Directors and Executive Management seek to implement the highest standards of governance, development and application in all aspects of business activities. Governance is at the core of Barwa’s corporate strategy and we continue to strengthen our brand perception and credibility through uncompromising commitment to greater disclosure and transparency. 2014 marked effective implementation of established corporate governance policies that cover the governance principles, Board of Directors, duties and responsibilities, board and management committees and their terms, internal control and risk management. We continue to refine our delegation of authority matrix, operational policies, processes and functions eliminating layers and complexities in order to achieve the optimal level of efficiency in our operations. We have further implemented several enhancements to the existing ERP system to improve the speed and efficiency of our planning and operations.
The culture of managing risks is embedded in our corporate strategy and is crucial towards effective planning and delivering our core real estate projects and managing our investment portfolio.
In Barwa we seek to implement a distinctive approach of human capital enrichment in order to achieve our strategy and objectives. This requires having a national caliber with a high standard of proficiency, knowledge and energy, able to commit to the group’s objectives and plans, to support Barwa as a key player against the wide competition in the real estate market. Barwa, on the other hand, is strongly committed to Qatar National vision 2030 and its human development pillar through education, training, learning and continuous development programs for national talents. It is worth mentioning that most of the Senior Management positions are occupied by Qatari nationals.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
We are proud of our contribution to Qatar’s society, and we will continue to find ways of supporting the community through a range of activities, support and contributions. Believing in its role towards the community, Barwa has offered a number of units in its Real Estate projects for the social associations and corporations in Qatar.
OUR FUTURE PLAN 2015
The Board of Directors and Management is committed to take the task of developing the investment thinking of the group to builda base of assets to generate sustainable returns, and this can be achieved only through evaluating the performance of current projects and formulating an optimum development strategy for the new investments to benefit the shareholders.
Barwa has sizable land plots which are being currently evaluated to determine the highest and best use whether selling or developing leasing/ selling purposes.
We are progressing with development of:
• Two phases of Barwa Al Baraha Project, an establishment of workers housing on high level of quality. Both phases together will accommodate 53,000 workers and is considered one of the largest workers accommodations in Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council, as the project reflects Barwa's strategy towards developing innovative solutions and supporting the Qatar National Vision 2030.
• Barwa Al Khor residential project which consists of 300 residential apartments and 50 villas for Qatar Shell staff is progressing.
• Start of construction works for Barwa Village Expansion and Alaateda (Barwa Al Doha), Madinat Al Mowatir and Manateq projects are expected to take place during 2015
Barwa is continuing its strategic analysis of development opportunities with various business models with government and private companies to ensure a promising investment prospects that can deliver sustainable growth and superior returns to shareholders
At the end, Barwa Chairman extended his appreciation for the support and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir and His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. He also thanked the shareholders and customers for their support, as well as the group employees for their dedication and loyalty.
Shareholders were then requested to approve the Board of Director report and the financial position for 2014, as well as 2015 future plans.
The Auditors’ report on the financial statements of the company was discussed and approved as well.
Shareholders discussed the Board of Directors’ proposal for profit distribution which recommends a cash dividend of 22%, (2 riyals & 20 Dirhams per share), which was approved by all shareholders. Remuneration of Directors was determined and approved, and Price Waterhouse & Coopers was appointed to audit 2015 financial year, with QR 1,454,000 fees for their services.