SAUDI: Profits up at Saudi dairy-to-sugar group Savola
Saudi food group Savola has booked a 22% jump in annual profits, helped by land sales but also higher market share in the retail sector.
Savola, which operates across the Middle East, north Africa and some former Soviet states, posted net profit of SAR1.7bn (US$453.3m) for 2013, up 21.5% on a year earlier.
The company said proceeds from land sales and reduced financial charges helped its bottom line.
Nevertheless, Savola's operating profit was up 4.9% at SAR2.58bn.
Savola's fourth-quarter results reportedly missed analyst forecasts. Net profit rose 36.7% to SAR564m. However, analysts polled by Reuters had estimated Savola would report a quarterly net profit of SAR642.5m.
The company's operating profit for the fourth quarter was down 14% at SAR563m. Savola pointed to the way it had accounted for the "hyper-inflationary economies of Iran and Sudan".
Savola did not provide a sales figure for either the whole of 2013 or the fourth quarter. However, it said the inflation in the two markets, as well as lower commodity prices, "impacted" revenues.
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