Saudi Arabia's largest food products company, Savola Group, reported a fourth-quarter loss on Sunday but said it was much smaller than a year earlier due to higher profit margins and a lower impairment loss at one of its subsidiaries.
Its net loss for the three months to December 31, 2017, was SR 37.5 million ($10 million), compared with a loss of SR 915.7 million ($244.2 million) a year earlier.
NCB Capital forecast Savola would make a quarterly net profit of SR 144 million ($38.4 million)
Savola said a higher share of profits from associate companies and lower operating expenses also helped its fourth-quarter performance compared to a year earlier.
It also said an impairment loss, related to operations at one of its subsidiaries, was reduced in the last quarter of 2017 to SR 222 million ($59.2 million) from SR 573.8 million ($153 million) a year ago.
Sales for the fourth quarter, however, fell to SR 5.8 billion ($1.55), from 6.8 billion ($1.81 billion) a year ago.
The company said it would withhold dividend distributions for 2018.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.