Agthia’s profits increase 44% in 2009 to reach Dh104m

Abu Dhabi-listed Emirates Foodstuff and Water Company (Agthia), a leading food and beverage company of the country, yesterday  announced 44 per cent growth in profit for 2009 at Dh104 million against Dh72.2m for the previous year, according to preliminary financial result.

Total assets grew from Dh1 billion in 2008 to Dh1.1bn last year, while revenues went up from Dh853.9m to Dh921.1m, and operating income rose from Dh76.2m to Dh106.6m.

The company also reported growth in shareholders’ equity and earnings per share, with shareholders’ equity rising from Dh795.3m to Dh899.4m and share price rose from Dh0.120 to Dh0.173.

“The company delivered a combination of growth and increased profitability for the year ended on December 31. Sales increased by eight per cent, while profit registered a strong 44 per cent growth compared to last year,” said Iqbal Hamzah, Group Chief Financial Officer.

However,  top-line growth was not so impressive because of decline in prices, he said. “There was tremendous growth in revenues, assets, income, net profit and shares. Volume growth was much higher compared to 2008, but the top-line growth was impacted because of lower animal feed and other product prices last year,” Hamzah told Emirates Business.

Agthia sees itself as the leader in creating brand names in consumer products in the UAE despite stiff competition and financial crisis across the board. The Al Ain-based company is 51 per cent owned by General Holding Corporation of the local government and the remaining stake held by the general public and institutional investors.

The company, which produces brand names Al Ain mineral water and has won the right to manufacture and distribute famous children’s fruit juice drink Capri Sun, has a strategic plan to become the regional leader in consumer products.

“Higher sales were mainly driven by strong volume growth across all product lines and the launch of Capri Sun in the second quarter of last year, partially offset by the drop in animal feed prices compared to 2008.”

 

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