Dubai: RAK Ceramics is finally ready to put down deeper roots in Saudi Arabia, with a production facility that will be commissioned in 2025. The Kingdom is one of the UAE company’s biggest markets and which made it even more imperative for RAK Ceramics to have local manufacturing.
Land for the project has been allotted, and a top official said the next 12 months will involve clearing all the licensing procedures, etc. “Three years – that’s how long it should take for production to commence,” said Abdallah Massaad, Group CEO, RAK Ceramics. “Even then, our RAK production hub will still be the biggest we operate – in fact, this is the biggest of its kind anywhere in the world.”
RAK Ceramics’ recorded a 25.6 per cent sales growth in Saudi Arabia during the second quarter, and ‘continues to focus on growing its presence by securing highly profitable projects and expanding its retail footprint’. The confirmation of direct manufacturing opens up those possibilities further. Saudi Arabia with its massive real estate and hospitality developments will be just what the company needs. (Incidentally, in the UAE, revenues grew 24.5 per cent compared to last year, driven by ‘growing construction demand and favorable real estate market conditions, increase in selling prices and an uplift in the brand’s retail presence’
Recent weeks have also been taken up with consolidating all of the Kludi brand into the RAK Ceramics fold. “The buy in full of Kludi gives us a strong base in Europe – this will do us good on the top-line, but I won’t say it will provide a significant lift to the margins,” the CEO added.
RAK Ceramics has had, in the UAE, a JV with Kludi, which specializes in bath and kitchen fittings, for some years. Now, this has been taken a few notches higher with the parent company buy.
Getting to 100% in RAK Porcelain
On the need to acquire full ownership in RAK Porcelain, the CEO said: “It would be a great addition for us, with RAK Porcelain benefiting from the many hospitality and restaurant projects going on. There’s been a 70 per cent sales increase this year.
“We now have 87 per cent stake in the company, picking up another 37 per cent recently. As for the rest of it, our offer is still valid and we are hopeful of wrapping it up during the last quarter.”