Agthia Group shareholders approve Dhs65.31m interim dividend
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Agthia Group shareholders approve Dhs65.31m interim dividend

Agthia Group shareholders approve Dhs65.31m interim dividend

The group reported a 6.6 per cent increase in first-half profit, despite the currency headwind in Egypt

Agthia Group shareholders approve interim dividend

Shareholders in Agthia Group, the UAE-based food and beverage company, have approved an interim dividend of Dhs65.31m for the six months ended June 30, 2023, which translates to 8.25 fils per share.

The food and beverage firm reported a 6.6 per cent increase in first-half profit, despite the currency headwind in Egypt and some demand phasing in Q2 2023 from the earlier Ramadan and Eid holidays.

“Our interim dividend reflects Agthia’s robust balance sheet and strong cash generation, and continued confidence in its future growth prospects as it progresses its strategy to become a leading food and beverage company in the MENA region and beyond,” said Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi, chairman of Agthia Group.

Net profit rose to Dhs144m, with a slower rate of growth relative to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) reflecting the higher interest rate environment (interest costs Dhs34m year-on-year).

Agthia’s revenues in the six months to June 30 surged by 10.3 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to Dhs2.2bn (3.6 per cent growth from pricing and 6.7 per cent from volume), reflecting a strong volume and value performance from dates, underpinned by premiumisation and innovation.

“Agthia’s performance during the first half of 2023 is a testament to our ability to successfully consolidate value-accretive businesses and leverage synergies while maintaining a profitable core,” Alan Smith, CEO of Agthia Group said, adding that the company’s strong cash generation enables it to accelerate investment in capacity, sustainability, and digital excellence to futureproof its growth strategy.

The company said its revenue rose by more than 20 per cent YoY after adjusting for the impact on revenue from currency devaluation in Egypt (Dhs197m), with growth of 45 per cent and 12 per cent respectively from the snacking and agri segments.

The protein and frozen segments contributed 21 per cent to the group’s revenues – excluding currency impact – while the water and food division contributed 6 per cent.

The food and beverage firm’s EBITDA grew ahead of revenues to Dhs318.8m in H1 2023, up 18.3 per cent YoY, reflecting strong growth in profitability across snacking and water, a laser focus on profit protection in Egypt, as well as further group-wide production and distribution economies.

Agthia’s growth strategy

Meanwhile, ADQ-backed Agthia has made several acquisitions and investments across the Middle East to grow its regional footprint while contributing to the UAE’s food security strategy.

The group launched a $54m corporate venture capital fund, Agthia Ventures, in July to help food and beverage companies scale their operations and accelerate product development and market adoption.

Agthia Ventures, which is partially funded by ADQ, will be co-managed by US-based Touchdown Ventures, a US-based agency creating venture capital programs for corporations.

The fund is stage-agnostic and it will invest primarily in companies with clear product-market fit that are demonstrating revenue growth. Investments will focus on brands, categories and solutions across Agthia’s portfolio that are both complementary and adjacent to the group’s business model.

Agthia said the Egyptian market is strategically important not only in the favourable, long-term socio-demographics and structural demand for protein, snacking and coffee products, but increasingly as a cost-effective manufacturing hub for key export markets across the MENA region.

On the sustainability front, the group made continued progress across the four pillars of its sustainability agenda in the first half of the year by reducing its water usage ratio and greenhouse gas emissions scope 2 emissions by 2.5 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

Read: Exclusive: Alan Smith on Agthia Group’s growth and food security strategy

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