UAE cable giant Ducab winds in 36% profit gain for 2020

Dubai: Demand from projects in the UAE ensured the cables and metals manufacturer Ducab Group did not have to cut down on production at any point during 2020. This in turn helped full-year profits to rise 36 per cent for the group, which is equal-owned by Dubai and Abu Dhabi government entities. (Actual breakdown of the financials has not been given.)

“We continued to be fully operational during the rather difficult year,” said Mohammed Al Mutawa, Group CEO. “Production rates vary throughout any given year - we feel our current capacity is the right mix for now.

“This will serve the projects we have across sectors, as well as landmark projects such as Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Dubai Metro Route2020, Abu Dhabi Airport, and others.”

Keeping it steady

Owned by Investment Corporation of Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s ADQ, Ducab Group’s manufacturing capacity stands at more than 115,000 MT of high-, medium-, and low-voltage cable solutions, as well as 180,000 tonnes of copper rod and wire per annum. In addition, there is the 55,000 tonnes per annum of aluminium rod and overhead conductor.

The group exports 60 per cent of its overall production.

Not much of disruptions

Through the pandemic months, it kept those supplies going. “Fortunately for us, the majority of our customers were still operating and accepting deliveries from our plants,” the CEO said. “We filled market gaps globally through our distribution network, and this helped strengthen our position during the pandemic.”

All 3 make gains

Of the business units, there were double-digit profit gains for the core cables and metals operations.

* Ducab Cable Business (DCB), the largest unit, delivered a profit increase of 13 per cent, with a product sales volume of close to 80,000 conductor tonnes.

* Ducab Metals Business (DMB) had a 33 per cent profit increase year-on-year. The metals operation includes Ducab Aluminium Company (DAC) and Ducab’s Copper Rod Factory. It sold close to 190,000 tonnes of products in 2020.

* Ducab High Voltage (DHV) saw overall margins up by 42 per cent compared to the previous year. DHV, which is the first dedicated high voltage and extra-high voltage power cable manufacturing facility in the Middle East, sold nearly 6,000 tonnes of specialized high voltage cables.

“In 2020, in particular, we have seen increased interest from markets such as Australia, the UK, India, and China,” the CEO said. “In addition, Ethiopia and Somalia, Maldives and Mauritius, and Philippines were we saw increased interest.

“We export approximately 60 per cent of our overall production, which has grown over the years with both the cables and metals businesses expanding their footprint. In the past, it used to be around 50% each, but our exports have grown, with significant contributions from the copper rod and aluminum rod category.”

And for this year, much of the same themes will again be focussed on, namely that of “business continuity”.

“We continue to invest in upgrading our plants and equipment around the year - and capex (capital expenditure) as such has the full support of our shareholders as and when needed,” he added

“Ducab is also keen to explore new markets and opportunities. We will continue to do this, especially as economies begin to rebound from the effects of COVID-19.”

Change at the top
At its last Board meeting, Ducab confirmed Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri as the new Chairman, in place of Dr. Ahmad Bin Hassan Al Shaikh, who served from 2019-2021. The chairmanship is rotated biannually between Ducab’s equal shareholders ADQ (through Senaat) and Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD). According to Al Shaikh, “The past year has offered us a lot of lessons. I am proud that we have remained resilient and determined to achieve our objectives, and delivered an exceptional performance last year."

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