UAE retailer named one of world's fastest growing firms

EMKE Group, which runs Lulu supermarkets, ranked 11th in global list produced by Deloitte
Yusuffali MA, EMKE Group founder
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 15 Feb 2014 10:18 AM

UAE-based EMKE Group, which runs the Lulu chain of supermarkets, has been named among the fastest growing retailers in the world over a five-year period.

The company, headed by Indian Yusuffali MA, was ranked 11th in a list of the biggest growing retail businesses published by Deloitte, which also listed the world's 250 biggest names in the sector.

Deloitte said the retailer averaged compound annual growth rate of more than 25 percent between 2007-12.

It added that the group's revenues in 2012 exceeded $4.5bn.

EMKE Group is the only entry in the global 250 list (ranked 197th), which was headed by US giant Wal-Mart whose revenues in 2012 were put at $469bn, followed by the UK's Tesco.

EMKE Group has said it plans to open 42 new Lulu Hypermarkets in the next two years.

Yusuffali MA, who was ranked the 40th richest Indian on the planet with a fortune of $2.2bn, said despite numbering 104 stores in the Middle East his Abu Dhabi-based company had no signs of slowing down.

It will open seven new hypermarkets in the UAE in 2014-15, six in Oman, four each in Qatar and Kuwait, three each in Bahrain and Egypt and 15 in Saudi Arabia.

New markets were also being pursued in Malaysia, Indonesia, Iraq, Algeria, Morocco and Libya.

To beef up its retail and exports business, the group was also investing heavily in developing a logistics centre and cold storage facility in Kochi.

Deloitte said that despite tough economic conditions, revenues for the world's 250 largest retailers reached $4.3 trillion for the last fiscal year (June 2012 through June 2013).

The average size of the top 250 retailers exceeded $17bn according to the 2014 Global Powers of Retailing report from Deloitte.

"The global retail industry got off to a difficult start in the last year," said James Babb, clients and industries leader at Deloitte Middle East. "However, it is encouraging to see that the world's leading retailers were able to plough on through the difficult period to reap the rewards of increased consumer spend.

"This has served to provide a much needed boost to global revenues with nearly 80 percent of the top 250 (199 companies) retailers posting an increase in retail revenue."

Emerging market retailers accounted for more than half (26) of the world's 50 fastest-growing retailers, Deloitte added.

Babb added: "Latin American retailers led the way with 15 percent retail revenue growth followed by retailers in the Middle East/Africa region at 13.5 percent. Retailers are successfully adapting their strategies to adequately cater to the growing middle-class consumers in emerging economies where there is strong demand for consumer goods, ranging from cars and electronics to personal care products."

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