Saudi-based dairy group Almarai posted an increase in net profit for the first nine months of the year.

Net profit for the period to 30 September reached SAR847.9m (US$226.1m), up from SAR691.1m in the previous year.

Almarai saw its net sales increase to SAR4.32bn compared to SAR3.75bn in the comparable period of 2008.

Operating profit for the period rose to SAR871.9m from SAR708.6m in the previous year.

Earlier this year, Almarai set up a juice and dairy joint venture with PepsiCo, the US food and beverage giant.