Orascom Development posts loss amid unrest

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CAIRO: Egypt’s Orascom Development slumped to a loss in the first half of 2011, hit by the economic disruption caused by the country’s popular uprising and the strengthening of its financial reporting currency, the Swiss franc, the firm said on Tuesday.

Swiss-listed Orascom, known mostly for building luxury resorts, posted a net loss of 13.7 million Swiss francs ($17.5 million) compared to a profit of 50.9 million a year earlier. Revenues tumbled 62 percent to 107 million francs.

Orascom Development has been diversifying its business but Egypt remains its biggest market. Businesses there came to a near standstill for nearly 50 days due to the uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak, the company said.

A slump in occupancy pushed hotels revenue down 43 percent and a halt in building activity sent turnover from property and construction down 78 percent.

Orascom said the second half of the year usually sees most revenues and profits.

"Nevertheless, the turmoil in Egypt and the Arab world has adversely impacted the business in the region," it said. "We have witnessed lower real estate sales and hotel occupancy rates continue to remain below normal levels."

Orascom Development shares have tumbled 58 percent this year.



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