Dubai retailer Marka trims its losses in second quarter

Marka, the Dubai-based retailer, said it narrowed losses in the second quarter as it started accruing revenues from its operations.

Marka, which listed on the Dubai Financial Market last September, posted a loss of Dh2.14 million for the three months to June compared with a loss of Dh8.3m reported in the first quarter of 2015.

The company has been on an acquisition spree since the start of this year, which includes Retailcorp, a unit of Istithmar; a majority stake in the children’s entertainment group, Cheeky Monkeys; the restaurant chain Reem Al Bawadi and the sports memorabilia company Icons.

Another addition to its food and beverage portfolio this year was the restaurant brand Taste of Italy by Heinz Beck.

“Due to the phased consolidation of our 2015 acquisitions during the second quarter of this year we were able to recognise partial revenue from Marka’s operations for the first time,” said Khaled Almheiri, the vice chairman and managing director of Marka.

Mr Almheiri reiterated comments made earlier this year that he expects the company to become profitable in 2016 “significantly ahead of the IPO forecast”, saying the results showed “strong progress” towards profitability.

In addition to the four acquisitions completed during the second quarter of this year, Marka last month acquired the Middle East franchise of the UK-based ice-cream chain Morelli’s Gelato.

Marka plans to bring the brand to Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, Egypt and expand further in Saudi Arabia. A sixth location is expected to open at Mall of the Emirates in Dubai in October.

Marka also expects to launch Harper’s Bazaar Cafe at the Dubai Design District in the same month.

Marka now operates 34 retail outlets with plans to increase that number to 64 during 2016.

Marka’s shares closed unchanged at Dh1.3 yesterday where they have remained so for a week.

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