Emaar Properties on Saturday declared a 44 per cent jump in its net profit for the first quarter, compared to same period last year and the company said malls and hotels helped boost revenues. Financial results of the builder of the world’s tallest tower beat most of the analysts’ forecast as they predicted less than Dh600 million net profit for the first three months of 2012. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast an average profit for the quarter of D496.75 million. The mean estimate of four analysts was for a profit of Dh566 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Dubai-listed company recorded a net operating profit of Dh606 million, or $165 million, during the first quarter of 2012, compared to Dh421 million, or $115 million, for the same period of 2011. “We have entered a new era of growth for Emaar, focused on identifying new growth opportunities in line with the fast-changing economic environment. Our strength has always been in envisaging and executing prime real estate assets that contribute significantly to the economies we serve in. In Dubai, our assets are a prime driver of tourism, hospitality and retail, the traditional sectors that boost economic growth,” chairman Mohamed Alabbar said in a statement. The company recorded revenues of Dh1.821 billion, or $496 million, for the first quarter of 2012 with shopping malls and retail businesses contributing Dh651 million, or $177 million, and hospitality and leisure businesses contributing Dh403 million, or $110 million, during the first quarter of 2012. The owner of the world’s largest shopping mall — the Dubai Mall — is heavily dependent on malls and hospitality business. The revenues from business segments of malls and hospitality in this quarter increased by 25 per cent as compared to same period in 2011 and accounted for 58 per cent of the company’s total revenue, according to the company. With the establishment of Downtown Dubai as a major hub for tourism and shopping, the number of visitors to The Dubai Mall during the first three months of 2012 increased by 22 per cent to 16 million. The Address Hotels + Resorts recorded its best performance since inception with an average occupancy of 92 per cent during this period. In all, Emaar handed over 158 residential units during the first quarter comprising of 117 units in Dubai and 41 units in the international markets. The company also handed over 180,000 sq ft of commercial space in the same period. New unit sales in Dubai also increased significantly during the first three months of 2012 exceeding Dh620 million ($169 million) during the period. With the superior performance of its business segments — malls and hospitality, improved real estate market in Dubai, planned deliveries in international markets and new initiatives announced, the company is on the path of having a successful 2012 and creation of significant shareholders value. Last week, Emaar held it’s annual general meeting and announced 10 per cent cash dividend for it’s shareholders and elected new board of directors. It also announced the appointment of Ernst and Young as the auditors for the year 2012.