Doha airport costs Depa $32.6m, but international orders strong

UAE-based interior contracting company Depa has recorded a net loss for 2012 of $32.6m, which it blames largely on the troubled New Doha International Airport (NDIA) project.

The cancelled contract caused a drop in Depa’s gross margins from 16.6% in 2011 to 8.1% in 2012, the company said.

A joint venture between Depa and German firm Lindner had won a $250m contract to fit-out the new NDIA terminal building, but they were removed from the contract last year.

In December Qatar Airways said it would be filing a $600m legal claim against the JV, called Lindner Depa Interiors (LDI), for causing a delay to the NDIA project of up to a year.

The airline said LDI had undertaken to complete 19 airport lounges by the summer of 2012 in readiness for the airport’s opening in December 2012, but that now the opening was delayed until the second half of 2013.

New Doha International Airport

Depa hit back strongly, saying its contract was with NDIA, not Qatar Airways, and that the JV had been denied full access to the project site for the first nine of the 16 months of the project.

"This delay, combined with NDIA’s refusal to pay acceleration costs recommended by its own management consultancy, meant LDI was unable to start all interior contracting work on site as planned," Depa said. "As a result, LDI was unable to meet its original contract completion date."

It added that LDI is currently in arbitration with NDIA.

Despite the financial loss for 2012, Depa said its balance sheet was strong thanks to its push into emerging markets.

Full-year 2012 revenues stood at $530m (AED1.947bn), a 12% rise from 2011.

Depa said it completed 393 projects in 19 countries in 2012, with 49% of revenue coming from projects outside the MENA region, a 60% increase over 2011.

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