Drake & Scull International’s (DSI’s) yearly profit rose 61 per cent to AED185m in 2013. Its revenues amounted to AED4.9bn, a 47 per cent increased compared to 2012.

“The top line growth was driven by operations in Saudi Arabia and UAE markets, each contributing 58 per cent and 29 per cent respectively,” the Dubai Financial Market-listed company said in a statement.

Its engineering business accounted for 43 per cent of the net profit in 2013, with the contracting and oil and gas divisions each making up nearly 30 per cent.

DSI’s order backlog reached a record high of AED12bn, a year-on-year increase of 36 per cent, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE forming its largest contributors.

It has also started expanding into North Africa and the Levant region, where it was awarded the Saraya Aqaba development and the St Regis hotel awards.

“We expect in 2014 accelerated growth for DSI in emerging markets and particularly across the oil and gas and rail sectors,” said Mukhtar Safi, chief financial officer of DSI.

“We continue to focus on cost reduction, return on capital and liquidity to drive sustainable performance across all our markets. We will remain selective in the new construction projects we undertake in order to minimise risk and preserve capital.

“Our focused efforts to improve the working capital and to shorten the cash conversion cycle were the main contributors to the significant improvement in liquidity [in 2013].”