Saudi property developer Dar al-Arkan has said its net income slumped 60.7 per cent in the first-quarter as revenues from property sales fell.

The company reported a net profit of SR57.85m ($15.43m) in the three months to 31 March, which compares to SR147.29m for the corresponding period in 2015. Gross profit also declined by 42.1 per cent to SR191.6m, it said in a statement to Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) where its shares are traded.

The latest drop means the company has reported declining profits in six of the past seven quarters, according to news agency Reuters which cited its data. NCB Capital had forecast the company would make a quarterly net profit of SR82.1m.

“The decrease in net income is mainly due to the lower property sale revenue,’’ Arkan said in the statement. However, some of the impact on profitability was offset by the higher leasing revenues and a “significant decrease in operating expenses and finance cost’’.

Chairman Yousef al-Shelash said in November he expected his company to grow in 2016 as the government prioritises spending on housing despite overall budget cuts prompted by low oil prices.

Emaar Economic City (Emaar EC), another Riyadh-listed developer, swung to net loss on declining sale revenues. Emaar EC, which is an affiliate of Dubai’s largest-listed develop Emaar Properties, reported a net loss of SR31m for the first three months of 2016, which compares to a net profit of SR86m for the same period in 2015.

The decrease in net profit was due to the combination of lesser sales in current quarter and an increase in general & administration expenses, the company said in a statement to Saudi bourse.

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