Savola brands may have a high profile in the region, but our investors know that this is only one part of the picture. We also use the expertise we have built up over the past four decades to strategically invest in food-sector companies. And this is why: stakes in growing companies give us greater insights into the industry and safeguard our profits by diversifying risk.
To take just one example, we own a 34.52% stake in Almarai – the world’s largest vertically integrated dairy business. This listed joint stock company offers a range of products in the fresh laban, cheese, juice, baked goods and poultry categories, and each of these business sectors is currently enjoying rapid growth.
In 2017, Almarai achieved revenues of SAR 13,936 million for the year and gross profit of SAR 5,584 million, compared to 2016’s SAR 5,522 million. Diluted earnings per share, based on net income attributable to shareholders, rose from SAR 2.08 to SAR 2.11, yielding a contribution of SAR 762 million to Savola’s net income.
Cost savings of nearly SAR 300 million were delivered in 2017, reflecting the agility developed at every level of the business as a result of continued progress in its cost and efficiency programs. Amid generally lower market growth trends, Almarai was able to retain – and in most cases gain – market share across nearly all product categories. It also introduced 42 new products in 2017 across a wide range of categories.
Savola and Almarai have a long-standing relationship and we are now proud to be the company’s largest single shareholder.
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