Saudi food firm posts 48% rise in Q2 profit

Saudi Savola Group sees turnaround in profitability in food sector; growth in retail sector
Saudi food firm posts 48% rise in Q2 profit
GCC food, Middle East consumers, GCC consumers
By Reuters
Sat 21 Jul 2012 12:05 PM

Saudi Savola Group posted a 48 percent rise in its second quarter net profit, beating analyst forecasts on improved profitability in the food sector and its increased market share in the retail sector, a bourse statement on Saturday.

The firm, which owns the Middle East's biggest sugar refining business, made SR341.3m ($90.9m) in the three months ending June 30, compared with SR230.7m in the same period a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected the firm to post, on average, SR306.8m.

"The reason for the rise in profits for this quarter... is mainly the turnaround in profitability of its operations in the food sector, and the continued growth and increased market share in the retail sector," the statement said.

Savola expects to post a net income of SR340m, before capital gains, for the third-quarter, the statement said.

Savola also said, in a separate statement, it plans to issue a 0.3 riyal dividend for the second quarter.

The firm's operational profit for the second-quarter rose by 42.6 percent to SR603.8m.

Revenues for the six month period reached SR13.57bn, up 13.6 percent from the same period a year earlier, it said.

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