UAE food giant sees impact of VAT during Q1

Agthia says beverages category witnessed softening demand due to introduction of VAT
By Sam Bridge
Fri 11 May 2018 09:33 AM

Agthia Group, one of the UAE’s largest food and beverage groups, has reported net profit of AED47 million during the first quarter of 2018, up by more than 10 percent.

Revenues totalled AED491 million, representing like-for-like growth of 3.7 percent while net profit rose by 10.1 percent, fuelled by cost optimisation efforts across most lines in its consumer goods business.

The company said in a statement that its flagship water category continued its growth momentum driven by Al Ain Water, the UAE’s number one bottled drinking water brand.

It added that the beverages category, comprising of Capri Sun juice drinks and Al Ain fresh juices, witnessed softening demand due to changing consumer preferences with the introduction of VAT and a generally declining juice market.

Net revenues of the food category registered a rise of 16.8 percent from Q1 2017, it also noted.

Dhafer Ayed Al Ahbabi, chairman of Agthia, said: “Despite a challenging operating environment that saw the introduction of VAT and other headwinds, Agthia continued to grow in line with our 2020 strategy.

"We began 2018 with major steps that speak to our dedication as innovators in all of our industries, and we intend to continue to grow all of our businesses through the same kind of innovative thinking.”

Tariq Ahmed Al Wahedi, CEO of Agthia, added: “Further product introductions will reinforce our drive to grow through innovation in the food and beverage business and regional growth will continue to drive our business in the years to come.”

Agthia said it consumer categories now represent 53 percent of total group revenues, compared to less than 20 percent only a decade ago.

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Last Updated: Fri 11 May 2018 09:49 AM GST

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