Company: Zamil Group Holding
Country: Saudi Arabia
Wealth: 2.8 Billion
It may be one of Saudi Arabia’s largest private sector enterprises, but the recession has proved tough for Zamil Group Holding. Net profits rose by 2.2 percent last year in comparison to 2008, while gross profits dropped by 4.2 percent and operating profits fell by 3.8 percent. At the time, Zamil Industrial said that its decline in gross and operating profits had been due to a sales decrease of 7.6 percent.
However, all that should be read in the context of Al Zamil’s extraordinary growth since its inception as a simple trading house in the 1930s. Today, it spans diversified industrial and commercial interests, making its mark on everything from air-conditioning manufacturing to food processing, steel fabrication and travel services.
The group was founded by the late Abdullah Al Hamad Al Zamil, a Saudi entrepreneur who established a modest trading entity selling food items and textiles in the Kingdom of Bahrain in the 1930s. Later, he expanded successfully into real estate investments.
Zamil began investing in the plastics industry over 30 years ago, and today the group can count on a 12,000-strong workforce in more than 60 countries, vast manufacturing facilities and strong affiliations with numerous international partners. The family also has a significant stake in the Bahrain-based Energy Central Company, which could prove a huge windfall given the region’s growing power demands.