By Stanley Carvalho
Abu Dhabi food and beverages firm plans to boost exports to the Gulf and Egypt.
Abu Dhabi food and beverages company Agthia is expanding capacity to boost exports to the Gulf and Egypt but is bearish on profit growth in the coming quarters, its CEO said.
The company, majority-owned by the Abu Dhabi government, posted a 51 percent higher second-quarter net profit of 29.4 million dirhams ($8m) in the second quarter on sales of 234 million dirhams.
Agthia - also known as Emirates Foodstuff and Mineral Water Co - commissioned a new unit at its flour and feed mill in Abu Dhabi last month to lift annual capacity by 15,000 tonnes to 255,000 tonnes, Ilias Assimakopoulos told Reuters in an interview.
A new plant in Egypt was also commissioned last month to process tomato paste and new products are planned for launch in the next two months, he said.
"Exports are of high interest to us and there will be an increased focus in the second half of this year particularly on increasing exports of beverages and some food products to the Gulf markets," Assimakopoulos said without elaborating.
"We believe the high growth rate (of profit) is not sustainable in the quarters to come because the pricing trend for soft commodities has come down," he said.
The flour and feed mill caters mainly to the domestic market, while Agthia's unit Al Ain Mineral Water Company exports some 20 percent to Gulf markets.
The Al Ain Vegetables unit exports 50 percent of its products, whereas the new Egypt unit will export its entire production to the UAE and the Gulf.
Abu Dhabi government's General Holding Corporation holds a 51 percent stake in Agthia.