Raja Hani Ghanma was appointed to the position of chief executive officer of Arabtec Construction at a tumultuous time for the UAE-headquartered contractor. His 2015 promotion from chief operating officer followed a series of high-level – and high-profile – departures, including that of former Arabtec Holding CEO, Hasan Ismaik.
Arabtec recorded a net loss of $626m (AED2.3bn) in 2015 as revenues fell to $1.9bn (AED7.3bn), a 12% drop compared to the 2014 figure of $2.2 (AED8.3bn).
As such, Ghanma’s mandate has been to steady the ship. Indeed, in his first interview since taking over as CEO ofArabtec Construction, he told Construction Week that he would rather focus on project delivery than the stock market. “My focus is not the share price,” he explained. “My focus is the business; the wellbeing and performance of [Arabtec Construction].”
Ghanma’s strategy certainly seems to be working, at least in terms of project wins. So far in 2016, Arabtec has inked a series of lucrative UAE deals, including a $299m (AED1.1bn) contract to build a twin-tower residential development in central Dubai, and a $462m (AED1.7bn) contract to build 1,100 villas in Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Fujairah. Moreover, the contractor confirmed that it was awarded deals worth $2.4bn (AED9bn) in 2015.
More positive news emerged in May, when Arabtec reported a Q1 2016 revenue rise of 8%, up to $517.2m (AED1.9bn) from the $490.1m (AED1.8bn) of Q1 2015. Whatever Ghanma is doing, it seems to be paying off.