First Mills plan to get into higher margin product cateogories is helping with scoring the right bottom-line numbers. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: One of Saudi Arabia’s biggest food businesses, First Mills recorded SR220.2 million in 2023 net profit, up 1.3 per cent, and helped by churning out SR964.3 million in sales (against SR913.6 million in 2022). The net profit margin came to a healthy 22.8 per cent, though down on 2022’s 23.8 per cent.

The revenues gains were heled by the flouring mills operator moving further into downstream activities.

“We are successfully executing our strategy of diversifying our product portfolio into high margin products, expanding our geographical footprint, and reaching a broader customer base,” said Abdullah Ababtain, CEO of First Mills.

“Our downstream operations grew in 2023, exemplified by the launch of our PESA Mill and Mixing Plant and the commissioning of Durum Mill and Jeddah Mill-C Upgrade, which we expect to further solidify our market leadership in Saudi Arabia.

“We remain committed to our strategic roadmap and delivering long term sustainable value.”

In 2023, First Mills launched the PESA Mill to produce Saudi Arabia's first locally produced 'chakki atta flour'.

First time showing on Tadawul

The company had gone for the stock market float and Tadawul listing in June last. “2023 was a year in which First Mills lived up to its pioneering name, becoming the first milling company to list on the Saudi Exchange and subsequently reporting its first complete fiscal year as a listed company,” the CEO added,

We delivered a robust financial performance, showcasing our ability to enhance both top and bottom-line growth, underpinned by our extensive production capabilities, high utilization rates, and cost-efficiency measures.

- Abdullah Ababtain of First Mills

The stock is quoting at SR82.30, with the 52-week high showing as SR103.6.

Last year, the top-line gains came to 5.5 per cent, helped by gains for its largest product category, flour. This was despite the shutdown of Mill C for capacity upgrades. First Mills says increasing geographic coverage within Saudi Arabia continues to help build and diversify the customer base.

The newly launched Premix category is expected to achieve double-digit growth in the short-term as the ‘company continues to expand its B2C platform. The Aloula brand had a 37 per cent growth in small-pack sales year-on-year, showing up ‘First Mills’ ability to capture growth in the highly competitive retail market segment’.