Three GCC firms named among world's top retailers

UAE-based Emke Group, which runs the Lulu hypermarket brand, is ranked the biggest in the Middle East

Yusufali MA, chairman and managing director of Lulu.

Yusufali MA, chairman and managing director of Lulu.

Three GCC-based retailers have been named in a new list of the world's top 250, with the UAE's Emke Group ranked the Middle East's biggest.

Emke, which runs the Lulu chain on hypermarkets and earlier this month announces major expansion plans in Saudi Arabia, posted sales revenue of $6.2 billion.

Dubai mall operator Majid Al Futtaim saw revenue of $6 billion while Saudi-based food firm Savola posted $3.6 billion.

The companies were ranked 153rd, 160th and 240th respectively in the list which was topped by US giant Walmart which reported revenue of $482 billion for the full-year of 2015, the period used by Deloitte Global in compiling the ranking.

The top 250 global retailers generated aggregated revenues of $4.31 trillion in 2015, representing composite growth of 5.2 percent, according to Deloitte's Global Powers of Retailing 2017 report.

Herve Ballantyne, partner and consumer & industrial products industry leader, Deloitte, Middle East, said: “The Middle East remains an attractive destination for retailers, with three retailers ranking in Deloitte’s report.

"The Africa/Middle East region’s 19.1 percent growth rate and 5.8 percent net profit margin were the highest among the five geographic regions in FY2015,” he added.

However, the region also saw the smallest share of top 250 revenue at just 1.4 percent of the total and the joint fewest number of companies in the list (nine).

For the third year in a row, revenue growth for the Top 250 apparel and accessories retailers outperformed other product sectors. Historically, this category of retailers has also been the most profitable, and fiscal year 2015 was no exception, the report noted.

The report added that the level of retail globalisation appears to be at the same level as the previous year, with two-thirds of Top 250 retailers operating outside their home country borders.

On average, they had retail operations in more than 10 countries and derived nearly 25 percent of their composite retail revenue from foreign operations.

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