For the first quarter 2017, Almarai net revenue grew by 4.7% in Saudi Arabia and by 2.1% in the other GCC countries, demonstrating the resilience of the Almarai business despite a persistent challenging environment.
On the other hand, the total net sales figure has been negatively impacted in Egypt by the devaluation of the Egyptian pound, and the significant decline in exports to Iraq due to border closures. As a result, the total group net revenue grew slightly by 0.3% to SR3,384 million.
Almarai’s net income quarterly performance was stronger since net income attributable to shareholders grew by 13.7% quarter-to-quarter to SR328.3 million. The strong performance of the core businesses of dairy, juice, food and bakery in the GCC, as well as the significant reduction in the poultry business unit loss account for this result.
Favorable commodities costs, as well as the multiple cost control initiatives and operational efficiency programs already initiated last year, continued to help improve the operating profit by + 1.4%pp.
The free cash flow, which reached a negative level of – SR 290 million for the quarter, improved by SR736 million from last year thanks to a stronger operating cash flow, + SR256 million, combined with lower capital investments – SR 480 million.
Almarai said it will continue to focus on cost management without compromising its product quality. It also noted that it will continue to revamp its product portfolio to offer the best choice and value to its consumers.
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