Almarai, the Saudi Arabia-based food and drinks business, plans to expand its poultry capacity with an investment of SAR275m (US$73.3m).

The Riyadh-headquartered firm, which also manufactures dairy, juices, bakery and infant-nutrition products for retail and foodservice channels in the Middle East and north Africa, said the funds will be funnelled into its existing poultry plants.

It also said the Tadawul-listed business plans to develop top-down farming and production facilities to “enable a full vertical integration of the poultry supply”. 

In a separate initiative, Almarai said in a stock exchange filing its management will conduct a comprehensive study to explore entering new food categories that will help contribute to Saudi Arabia’s food security. 

In February, Almarai announced it had secured a $100m loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to support projects in Egypt and Jordan.

Almarai said then it would use the funds to expand dairy and juice capacity at its Beyti subsidiary in Egypt, and to finance improvements in milk supply in Jordan.