Abu Dhabi: Agthia Group, the Abu Dhabi based food and beverages company, on Sunday reported a 6 per cent increase in net profit for the third quarter of 2018, due to higher sales volumes and greater efficiencies.

Third quarter profit this year reached Dh50 million, compared to a profit of Dh47 million during the same period last year.

Revenues of the firm listed on Abu Dhabi bourse touched Dh476.8 million in 2018’s third quarter, compared to Dh498.9 million in 2017’s third quarter.

“Higher sales volumes, enhanced category and product mix, and greater efficiencies have all contributed to Agthia’s strong third quarter profit performance,” Tariq Ahmad Al Wahedi, Agthia Group CEO, said in a statement.

“Agthia’s most profitable business — bottled water — demonstrated its ability to withstand the highly competitive market promotions while our 5-Gallon water displayed even stronger double-digit volume growth. Food category continued its remarkable top and bottom line growth, with net revenues increasing by 13 per cent to reach Dh148 million.”

In the nine-month period ending September 30, the company posted a profit of Dh159 million compared to Dh165 million during the same period last year, down by 3.7 per cent.

“It shows we are 3.7 per cent lower, but last year we actually had a one-off from selling land and there was also the Qatar business; we are no longer exporting to Qatar and that impacted us. If you take these factors out, we have grown by 9 per cent compared to last year,” Al Wahedi told Gulf News, when asked why the nine-month profit showed reduction.

He also said the company is looking at growing its footprint in the region, with new production lines in the water business.

Agthia recently started production of Al Ain water in Kuwait, with an investment of Dh50 million; they are also set to start production in Baghdad, Iraq, this month.

In Saudi Arabia, the company is in the process commissioning a new high-speed bottling line for Al Ain water production with an investment of Dh50 million, Al Wahedi added.

They are also actively looking at acquisitions mainly in Saudi Arabia. “We are screening many companies and are still working on that. We are open to other markets as well. Fundamentals in Saudi are bullish and that’s a growth market for us,” the group CEO said.

Established in 2004, 51 per cent of the Agthia Group’s shares are held by Senaat (General Holding Corporation), an Abu Dhabi Government entity, with the balance held by retail and institutional investors. Agthia’s assets are located in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt and Turkey.