Dubai: The Abu Dhabi food company Agthia ticked all the boxes, with revenues up 10.9 per cent to Dh3.27 billion for the nine months to end September. That in turn nourished the net profit tally to Dh206 million, up by a healthy 12.9 per cent. (This comes despite the Dh39 million ‘additional interest costs’ compared to 2022.)
Food commodity prices and higher demand contributed to Agthia’s numbers, as well as gains from its expanding base outside of the UAE. But in Egypt, it did face headwinds from the depreciating currency. Excluding this factor, net revenue was higher 20.7 per cent and net profit by 27.3 per cent.
“Another strong and profitable outturn this quarter,” is how Alan Smith, Group CEO, sees it. It was ‘accompanied by continued investment in capability to future-proof growth’ and testament to Agthia’s strategy of acquiring, integrating, and growing attractive businesses in value-add categories’.
That’s a fact, with deal-making seeing Agthia have interests in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The company, which owns ‘Al Ain’ water, snack and protein brands as well as date factories, ended the third quarter with Dh500 million in cash and equivalents.
In the UAE, the focus was on new formats and 'adjacent category' products such as the stuffed dates pouch and Maamoul biscuits.
Paying back debt
The near 13 per cent growth in net profit was helped along by a 'faster rate of growth relative to revenue' and thus reflecting EBITDA margin expansion. Plus, there was the cumulative repayment of Dh928 million of debt so far this year.
“Agthia’s third-quarter results demonstrate continued progress against strategic objectives - namely, protecting the core business; reaping the rewards of recent value-accretive M&A; and investing in capability to deliver on its vision to become a leading F&B company in the MENA region - and beyond," said Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Agthia Group.
More to follow...