Almarai: Net profit rose 22 percent

Riyadh / SA. (ac) The Saudi Arabian Almarai Company said its net profit rose by almost 22 percent in the first quarter 2009 after it increased its market share. Almarai made 197,40 million SAR (39,76 million EUR) in the three months to March 31, up from 162,2 million SAR a year earlier, it said. The net profit figure came within a band of forecasts by two brokerage firms which ranged from 195 million SAR to 293,4 million SAR, according to a survey last month. Almarai has diversified its revenue sources through acquisitions and said it plans to spend six billion SAR in the five years to 2013. The firm said in the third quarter 2008 it had acquired two juice and dairy companies in Egypt and Jordan. Last year, Almarai began consolidating the earnings from its 2006 acquisition of Western Bakeries and International Bakery Services Company. It paid 709 million SAR in stock for the companies. The Savola Group owns about 28 percent of Almarai.

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