- Barwa General Assembly approves distribution of 12.5% cash dividends
- Barwa Group faced the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and most of its financial indicators are better than the previous year, 2019.
- Total assets grew by QR 1.2 billion on an annual basis, to reach QR 33.2 billion in 2020.
- Total equity of shareholders of the parent company amounted to QR 20.3 billion.
- The average occupancy rate has exceeded 90% in many of the Group's residential projects.
- Financing costs decreased in 2020 by 11% on an annual basis, at a value of QR 39 million
Doha - Monday, March 8, 2021: Barwa Real Estate Company Q.P.S.C. held its Ordinary General Assembly Meeting on Monday evening March 8, 2021, after the completion of the quorum required for the meeting, which reached (57.05%).
The Chairman and members of the Board of Directors, CEO of Barwa Real Estate, the auditor and representatives of the Ministry of Trade and Industry - Companies Control participated in the meeting, which was held (remotely) through visual communication technology, in compliance with and in continuation of the precautionary measures issued by the government to limit the spread of the (Covid-19) virus pandemic.
During the online meeting, agenda items of the Ordinary General Assembly discussed and approved the Board of Directors' report on the company's activities and its financial position for the fiscal year 2020, in addition to the company's future plan for the year 2021, as well as the approval of the company's balance sheet and profit/loss statement for the fiscal year 2020, the auditors' report, the Sharia Supervisory Board report and the Corporate Governance report for the fiscal year 2020, and appointing new Sharia'a Supervisory Board for the year 2021.
The Ordinary General Assembly approved the proposal of the Board of Directors to distribute cash dividends at the rate of QR 0.125 per share (12.5% of the nominal value of the share) with a total of QR 486.4 million, and absolving the Chairman and members of the Board of Directors of any liability for the financial year ended on 31 / 12/2020, determining their remuneration, appointing auditors for the fiscal year 2021, and determining their fees.
During the meeting, His Excellency Mr. Salah bin Ghanem Al-Ali, Chairman of the Board of Directors, reviewed the report of the Board of Directors, which included a comprehensive overview of the company's activities, performance, consolidated financial statements for the year 2020, as well as its future plans.
His Excellency said: The fiscal year 2020 witnessed many challenges and difficulties due to the repercussions of the Coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic, as the global economy has witnessed many negative impacts that affected most economic activities in various countries of the world, but thanks to God and the wise leadership of the country, the Qatari economy has been able to overcome these repercussions with limited effects. The government has adopted many supportive economic measures since the beginning of the pandemic to support the national economy in general and the real estate sector in particular.
He added: Barwa Real Estate was able to face the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, the majority of its financial indicators were better than the previous year, due to the tremendous efforts made by the members of the Board of Directors, the executive management and all the Group's employees.
On the financial side, His Excellency explained that the financial statements showed achieving net profits attributable to the shareholders of the Group amounting to QR 1,214 million and earnings per share of QR 0.31. The Group also succeeded in achieving total recurring operating income of QR 1,637 million, an increase of 7% compared to the year 2019.
Moreover, general and administrative expenses were reduced by a value of QR 24 million, equivalent to 10% compared to the year 2019, and financing costs decreased by 39 million riyals, equivalent to 11% compared to the year 2019. This is in addition to a 9% decrease in the ratio of rental expenses to rental income.
During the fiscal year 2020, the Group also succeeded in signing financing contracts worth 3.4 billion Qatari riyals, with the aim of refinancing existing credit facilities in a manner that contributes to strengthening the Group's cash position during the coming period.
His Excellency explained that the decrease in the consolidated net profit for the year 2020 compared to the year 2019 resulted from a decrease in the profits of some items that are not recurring in nature, such as the profits of real estate investment valuation.
On the company's performance and achievements during the year 2020, His Excellency said that the total assets of the Group reached a value of QR 33.2 billion, an increase of QR 1.2 billion on December 31, 2019, and the total equity of the shareholders of the parent company reached a value of to QR 20.3 billion.
Barwa Real Estate won the Public Works Authority's tender for the development and maintenance of 8 public schools for the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Package 1, which is the first Public-private partnership (PPP). This investment guarantees rental income from the government for the Group over a period of 25 years.
Construction works have been launched in each of the Madinatna project, which is a residential city for families, as well as in the Barahat Al Janoub project, which is a residential city for the working class, and both projects are located within Al Wakra Municipality. The total cost of developing the two projects exceeds the value of five billion Qatari riyals. The two projects will increase operating revenues and enhance the sustainable growth of shareholder returns. They will also enhance the levels of support for the partnership with the State of Qatar, as the two projects will be used during the year 2022 to meet the needs of the World Cup events.
The Group also started the sales activities for the units of Dara (A) project in Lusail city and delivering them to their owners during the year 2020, through our subsidiary Waseef Asset Management company. This residential project strengthens the Group's cash position, as well as achieves growth in revenue levels from real estate sales.
The Group completed the development and operation of the entire first and second phases, in addition to the close to completion of the third and final phase of the project, which led to increasing the rental income during the year 2020.
This is in addition to the completion of construction work for the Second Phase of Al Khor Workers Sports Complex in the first quarter of 2020, and the leasing has started during the year.
The Group has continued the development of its operational real estate portfolio to include: 8,148 residential units, 37,300 residential rooms for workers, 336,552 square meters for shops, showrooms and offices, 445,779 square meters for workshops and warehouses, and 701 hotel rooms. The average occupancy rate has exceeded 90% in many of the Group's residential projects.
As for the Group's plans for the current year 2021, he explained:
As the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic continues to take its toll on the global economy during the year 2021, Barwa Real Estate is keen to work on various aspects during the year, which the Group considers to be the pillars of its business. Those aspects are as follow:
- Increasing revenues through achieving a balanced mix of operational projects that meet the needs of the real estate market in Qatar and lower the potential of risks linked to it. In addition to working on master plans and feasibility studies for many new projects on the existing lands of the Group, as the Group owns a stock of land that reaches an area of 7.7 million square meters, 68% of which is inside Qatar, and the remaining 32% is in other regions around the world.
- Rationalizing operational, administrative and financing expenditures to achieve the maximum possible benefit without affecting the quality of the projects and services provided.
- Improving the Group's brand and raising the efficiency of the corporate system by providing the best quality services at competitive prices, which satisfy the aspirations of customers, in addition to its on-going contribution towards national and social initiatives.
Barwa has also expressed its keenness to adhere to governance, systems, risk management and internal control, as the company stresses the importance of promoting and spreading a culture of integrity, transparency and credibility in its commercial and administrative transactions by ensuring the highest levels of full compliance with the Corporate Governance Code of Listed Companies, as regulated by the Qatar Financial Markets Authority.
Barwa Real Estate Group considers corporate governance one of the main pillars that form the guidelines of its operational and administrative activities, and dealings with all stakeholders. With this philosophy in mind, the Board of Directors, by delegating the authority to the executive management, seeks to accelerate commercial operations, eliminate complications and ensure the highest levels of operational efficiency. This has a positive impact on the company's projects and serves the interest of the shareholders. Moreover, the risk management policy plays a crucial role in creating suitable work frames in order to manage projects and investments in an effective way, while controlling operational, economical and relevant legal risks.
Barwa Real Estate applies an internal control system, with the purpose of establishing trustworthy standards and regulations that contain internal control methods. These control methods ensure the accuracy and reliability of Barwa's accounts and records, the integrity of transaction licenses and the protection of the Group's assets. It also ensures the disclosure of any risks that threatens the company's position, as well as compliance with systems and regulations, in order to set the record straight.
Barwa believes that the human factor is the key to the company's success, through attracting and retaining highly qualified employees. The Group has a strong company culture that is continuously being guided by Purpose and Values in every part of its business. We urge everyone to maximize their potentials at Barwa and explore the opportunities that awaits them within the company.
We value our people by providing them with our best support, prioritizing their health and safety and providing essential training and development programmes to them. We have also invested in technologies that allow employees to work more flexibly and encourage diversity and inclusion throughout the workplace.
Barwa Real Estate is committed towards its social responsibility by developing many targeted long-term initiatives, whether through its residential communities developed specifically for workers, its Safety & Security initiatives or through support which the Group offers as part of national events and celebrations.
Barwa pays special attention to workers and has a unique position in providing real estate solutions to serve them. Barwa offers a wide range of amenities and services to ensure securing a sustainable living environment for them.
Barwa is keen to implement safety and security measures in its projects in accordance with the frameworks established by the Government of Qatar. Moreover, Barwa constantly works towards enhancing security and safety measures in all aspects of its business, as it listens to the needs of its employees and customers and develops plans that simulate the needs of local communities.
Barwa is constantly looking to support and sponsor activities and celebrations of Qatar National Day, as an expression of solidarity, national unity, and pride in the Qatari identity.
His Excellency Mr. Salah bin Ghanem Al-Ali, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Barwa Real Estate Group, expressed his sincere thanks and deep appreciation and gratitude for the support of the wise leadership of H.H. Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, and His Excellency Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. His Excellency also thanked the company's shareholders and employees for their continuous support to achieve the goals and objectives that the Group seeks to serve the achievement of Qatar National Vision 2030.
Mr. Abdulla Jobara Al Romaihi, Group CEO of Barwa Real Estate, commented that the group has adopted a comprehensive business strategy with precise measures to deal with the repercussions of Covid-19 pandemic. This plan has so far proven its efficiency as it provides a successful model in overcoming the side effects which accompany the pandemic. It's also ensuring business continuity, with no interruption of any plans or projects. These exceptional circumstances have in fact refined our experiences to deal with different variables.
The past year witnessed tremendous efforts from Barwa team, under the supervision of the Board of Directors, to plan for the upcoming years. We were able to support Barwa real estate portfolio with new projects which generate sustainable returns for the shareholders and achieve a balanced asset portfolio. While focusing on the social and human dimensions to which those projects contribute, and eventually supporting the values of quality, sustainable living which is also able to cope with the urban growth of the state.
Al Romaihi added: Barwa real estate projects are distinguished by quality and integration, they cover the different regions inside Qatar, reaching south to Abu Hamour, Mesaimeer, Industrial Areas, AlWakra and Mesaieed, North to Lusail City and Al Khor City, and west to Mukaynis and Dukhan. This expansion outside the city of Doha have always aimed to serve the urban development of Qatar and address the real needs of the people; eventually fulfilling the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030.
During the year 2021, we will continue to focus on our developmental investments which were launched in the past year. We view them to be the cornerstone of our future journey and the compass which leads our investment plans, we are currently studying a number of promising investment opportunities, and moving ahead with our efforts to diversify our source of revenue.