Jebel Ali Free Zone profit up to Dh1 billion

Dubai’s biggest industrial zone attracted more than 650 new customers last year, helping to lift profit by more than 50 per cent to Dh1.06 billion.

Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ), the sprawling industrial estate on the outskirts of the emirate, said revenue rose 10 per cent to Dh1.68 billion, compared to Dh1.53bn a year earlier, “primarily from price and volume growth”. It had added 583 new customers in 2013 when net profit was Dh690 million, it said.

Lower finance costs, higher occupancy and a one-off gain from Dubai World helped to drive profit higher, the company said in a regulatory filing. As of the end of last year, total debt was Dh4.5bn compared to Dh4.9bn a year earlier.

It also has greater access to funds for development after agreeing the improved terms on its loans, JAFZ said.

JAFZ has benefited from its location alongside Jebel Ali Port and the growth of air cargo passing through the nearby Dubai World Central.

The city’s improving logistics capacity is stoking demand for new warehouse space, while rising consumption in the city itself is also supporting the sector.

DP World shareholders in December approved the acquisition of the JAFZ parent Economic Zones World in a deal worth US$2.6bn.

DP World bought Economic Zones World from the Dubai World conglomerate.

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