Dubai-listed contractor Drake & Scull International (DSI) has recorded revenues of AED796m ($217m) in the first quarter of this year, which is a 23 per cent year-on-year contraction.

The company, which posted its results on the Dubai Financial Markets (DFM) on 16 May, also recorded net losses of AED722m “due to the provisions and impairment charges undertaken in the first quarter.”

DSI’s order backlog stood at AED7.3bn as of 31 March this year.

The company finalised its shareholders’ approval on the proposed capital restructuring program at the annual general assembly meeting held on 4 May, accoding to the DFM statement.

The first phase of the programme includes the share capital reduction that is expected to be completed by the second quarter of this year.

The company statement also said that the once the contractor completed the capital reduction process it will press ahead with the second phase, which is set to be a AED500m capital increase. A move the statement says is “a critical and strategic endeavour that is equally important and essential to resolve the liquidity challenges of the company.”

Earlier this year MEED reported that the company is planning on selling its AED300m ($81m) stake in the One Palm development in Dubai.

To help resolve the liquidity problem, Drake & Scull secured a new strategic investor from Abu Dhabi earlier this year that plans to inject AED500m into the company. “Tabarak Investment is a strategic investor that is not just coming in with money, but also an understanding of business in the UAE and the ability to help us win a greater share of the market within the UAE,” the company’s CEO Wael Allan told MEED in an exclusive interview in April this year. “They have great expertise in restructuring and helping companies that are in distress, so I think that expertise and knowledge will also speed up our recovery.”

Drake & Scull’s simple strategy

Wael Allan, Drake & Scull

Wael Allan, Drake & Scull

Wael Allan, Drake & Scull

In a region where the construction sector is such an important driver of the economy and there are only a handful of listed contractors, those companies that have gone public either claim the glory or carry the burden of the market as it moves from boom to bust.

In 2017, the regional construction market is depressed, and with that comes lots of speculation about the future of the region’s listed construction companies. This is a phenomenon that Wael Allan, CEO of Dubai-listed Drake & Scull International, knows all too well. “There are a lot of rumours in the marketplace, sometimes negative views about Drake & Scull,” he says. ”Quite frankly a lot of it is unsubstantiated. We are the only MEP [mechanical, electrical and plumbing] construction company that is publicly listed, and with that comes a level of transparency.” Read more.