SAUDI ARABIA – Almarai, a Saudi manufacturer and distributor of food and beverages mainly milk and other dairy products has become the sole owner of International Dairy and Juice Limited (IDJ) after buying PepsiCo’s 48% stake in the company.

Almarai bought PepsiCo’s share for SAR255 million (US$68M) to allow it to “further expand strategically in the wider region”.

IDJ was a joint venture between Almarai and PepsiCo formed in 2009, and its main activities consisted of food and beverage manufacturing & distribution in Egypt and Jordan, as well as exporting to countries worldwide.

Immediately after the partnership with PepsiCo, IDJ bought a 75% stake in Jordanian dairy producer Teeba and later acquired Egypt milk, juice and yoghurt producer Beyti.

All the acquisitions and expansion moves were to strengthen the company’s position in south-east Asia, Africa and the Middle East markets.

More recently, Almarai appointed Abdullah Naseer Al Bader as the new CEO after the resignation of Majed Nofal, after only 11 months of serving in the role.

Naseer had been with Almarai for more than 20 years and previously served as the executive vice president for the firm’s bakery division, a position he held since 2015.

Last month, the Arabian dairy giant also posted a 24% increase in the net profit for the final quarter of the 2022 financial year (Q4-22).

This growth was attributed to higher sales in the company’s poultry and bakery segments.

According to a statement released by the company to the Saudi stock exchange Tadawul, where its shares are traded, the revenue generated in the entire quarter also increased by 14% to SAR4.8 billion (US$1.3B).

Revenues rose by 29% in Bakery while poultry reported an increase of more than 31%, according to the statement.

For the entire financial year of 2022, the company announced to have made a net profit of SAR1.76 billion (US$476.8M), a 12% increase compared to 2021, while revenue increased by about 18% to SAR18.7 billion (US$4.98B)

“The key risk remains surging cost inflation for dairy and feed commodities. We continue to see parts of the global supply chain remaining under stress, although some areas are now showing signs of stability,” the company’s spokesperson had said.

All of Almarai’s investments are in line with Saudi Arabia’s aim of boosting its food security, with the help of the private sector.

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