SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia’s Almarai, the Middle East’s largest dairy farm, reported a 6% decline in revenues year-on-year for the second quarter of 2024, attributed to seasonal consumption patterns.

During the April to June period, Almarai’s top line fell to SAR5.2 billion (US$1.4 billion), down from SAR5.46 billion in the same period the previous year. This revenue decline resulted in a 10% drop in Q2 net profit, which fell to SAR620 million.

Despite the quarterly downturn, Almarai’s performance for the first half of of 2024 showed a positive trend. Revenues increased 8% year-on-year to SAR10.6 billion, driven by solid volume growth across all categories, particularly in the dairy and poultry segments.

Net profit for the year’s first half rose by 10% to SAR1.31 billion, supported by effective cost control, an optimized product mix, and stabilized commodity costs.

Almarai expects continued top-line growth throughout 2024, bolstered by stable macroeconomic conditions and improved business performance.

The latest data from the General Authority for Statistics released in June indicated that the annual inflation rate in Saudi Arabia stood at 1.6% in May, remaining steady since March.

This positive outlook for the year comes despite a challenging second quarter, where the company saw its net profit fall by 10.47% compared to the previous quarter, dropping from SAR692.22 million in Q1 to SAR620 million in Q2.

Similarly, quarterly sales declined by 5.56%, from SAR5.45 billion to SAR5.2 billion.

In a strategic move, Almarai signed a cooperation agreement with the Social Development Bank to launch the “Almarai Chefs Program,” which aims to empower the owners of very small cooking projects in the Riyadh region.

The initiative is part of Almarai’s broader support for entrepreneurs and the development of the Saudi Arabian food sector.

The agreement, signed by Almarai CEO Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Bader and the Social Development Bank’s CEO Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Humaidi, will see Almarai financing cooking training projects, providing food products, equipment, and tools,

Meanwhile, the Social Development Bank will offer solutions and services to qualify the targeted group through empowerment and development programs.

Almarai CEO Al-Bader highlighted the program’s positive impact, emphasizing its potential to significantly empower emerging entrepreneurs in the food sector and enhance their contributions to the industry.

Al-Humaidi added that the cooperation agreement aims to transform small businesses into sustainable projects, achieving tangible economic returns and fostering innovation in the Saudi food sector.

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