DUBAI, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Dubai property developer Nakheel expects 2016 annual net profit to exceed the 4.4 billion dirhams ($1.2 billion) it made last year, its chairman was quoted as saying by United Arab Emirates newspaper Al-Ittihad on Monday.
* Nakheel was focusing on retail as that was one of the sectors most in demand, according to Ali Rashid Lootah in the newspaper report.
* So far this year, Nakheel has delivered five new projects at a value of 1.5 billion dirhams, including 1,300 retail outlets, he was quoted as saying.
* Net profit for the first nine months of 2016 was 3.91 billion dirhams, up from 3.61 billion dirhams in the corresponding period of last year, the company reported in October. ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Writing by Tom Arnold; Editing by David French)