50 most admired companies
Tue 27 Feb 2018 12:46 PM
Almarai

Headquarters Riyadh

Year established 1977

Sector Food, dairy

Partly owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Middle East’s biggest dairy and poultry firm began as a joint venture between Prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer and Irish agri-foods pioneer Alastair McGuckian before it went public in 2005. Diversification into bakeries, juices and baby food has allowed it to boost its non-dairy share of turnover to well over a third of revenues. The company is among the largest vertically integrated businesses in the world, and even until recently commanded nearly half of the Gulf’s market for dairy products. Until May 2017, it had a market cap of $15.1bn and employed more than 16,000 people.