UAE’s first public retail operator marks successful 12 months of operations since listing on the DFM
Dubai, United Arab Emirates 12 October 2015: Marka PJSC (DFM: MARKA), the first pubic joint stock retail operator in the UAE, is celebrating a successful 12 months of operations since listing one year ago on the DFM.
The group made history in 2014 when it became the UAE’s first retail and hospitality operator to list its shares on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).
Mr. Khaled Almheiri, Vice-Chairman & Managing Director, Marka said: “Marka is proud to celebrate its first full year of trading on the DFM. On this special anniversary, we would like to thank everyone – in particular our shareholders and employees - who are helping to realise Marka’s vision and ambition of becoming the premier retail and hospitality operator in the UAE and beyond.”
Conceived to capitalise on the UAE’s thriving retail industry, Marka’s story of innovation and achievement started when it became the first company to conduct an IPO in the UAE since 2009. The IPO opened in April 2014 and was well received by the local investor community, being 37 times oversubscribed. The company listed its shares on the DFM on September 25, 2014, providing investors with first time exposure to one of the UAE’s most important economic pillars – the retail industry.
Marka’s strategy has been one of ambitious expansion from the very onset of its formation. At the time of listing, the company had no outlets under operation and approximately 10 employees. NowToday, the company has 37 retail outlets under management representing more than 265,000 sq. feet of retail space, with a staff complement of 1,082 employees.
The company operates three divisions; Marka Sports, Marka Hospitality and Marka Fashion, with its business model one of taking established international and local brands that show strong potential, under its umbrella to extend their footprint in the UAE and across markets in the GCC. The company also develops and operates its own home-grown concepts.
Among Marka’s numerous key milestones and achievements during its first operations have been the launch of nine retail outlets, with 12 additional outlets set to open in 2015. To date, the company has conducted five strategic acquisitions, including the sports group Retailcorp UAE LLC from Istithmar World, the leading children’s edutainment chain Cheeky Monkeys, the world’s largest e-retailer of football memorabilia, ICONS, the award winning restaurant group Reem Al Bawadi and the Middle East operations of UK- based Morelli’s Gelato.
Nick Peel, Marka CEO said: “To say that Marka has had a busy first year would be something of an understatement. We have proven our commitment to expanding our retail and hospitality footprint and in doing so, have enhanced the region’s retail industry.”
“I am delighted with the progress from our first 12 months of operations,” he added. “We will certainly be celebrating this important milestone with our employees, but we are not resting on our laurels. We have much planned to take us up to our second anniversary next year.”
A major accomplishment under its Marka Sports division was the launch of the world’s first UEFA Champions League Experience, developed in partnership with UEFA. Centred on the world’s biggest and most popular football competition, the groundbreaking immersive retail and dining concept launched in June at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall.
The dedicated F&B division, Marka Hospitality, has launched its first home grown concept, Taste of Italy by Heinz Beck in partnership with the Michelin-starred chef at Galleria Mall in Jumeirah, and will launch the first Harper’s Bazaar Cafe in the new Dubai Design District later this year.
The company has also created a presence in the region for fashion names with its opening of mono-branded stores for Essentiel Antwerp, Weill and Laurèl. Marka Fashion and recently announced the addition of City Chic, a modern, contemporary extended sized brand for women, to its portfolio.
Marka has confirmed that it will open an additional 12 outlets within 2015, comprised of brands from the existing stable, as well as further new additions to Marka Fashion and Hospitality.
The company also confirm plans to enter into Qatar during the second half of 2016.
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