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Power 60 Power 60 2017

#19 Arabtec Holding

Arabtec clinched an AED1.46bn ($400mn) contract in May to build a 300m tower for wasl Asset Management. The win took the contractor’s project pipeline to over 22 projects under construction in the UAE and a project backlog of approximately AED 17bn, it said at the time. Not bad for a company still in the midst of a financial restructuring. The overhaul has involved bringing in new senior management to orchestrate a turnaround in fortunes. The reorganisation combined with an upturn in the market has improved Arabtec’s prospects, says Hamish Tyrwhitt, appointed as CEO of Arabtec Holding in November 2016.

Tyrwhitt subsequently brought in Boyd Merrett as CEO of Arabtec Construction, recruiting him from CIMIC Group where he was general manager for Leighton Asia in Hong Kong. The appointment followed that of Peter Pollard as the Group Chief Financial Officer in April. In the midst of all that Arabtec Holding returned to profit for the first time in more than three years, booking net earnings of AED18mn ($4.9mn) compared to a net loss of AED46mn in 1Q16. “With the combination of the strategic repositioning of the business, strong industry fundamentals and catalyst events such as Expo 2020 fast-approaching, we believe that the year ahead will see Arabtec continue on its path to a successful and sustainable future,” said Tyrwhitt at the time. The signs are that one of the biggest names in construction in this part of the world may have finally turned a corner.

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