Agthia Group, a leading regional food and beverages company, has announced that it has won approval from shareholders to distribute 16.5 per cent of cash dividends, which is equivalent to AED0.165 per share for a total of AED118.8 million ($32.3 million).
The approval came during the company's annual general meeting held virtually today (April 8) under the chairmanship of Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi.
Agthia had recently reported that the group’s net revenue surged to AED2.06 billion in 2020, which is equivalent to 1.1 percent y-o-y growth compared to the same period last year, while the net profit stood at AED 34.5 million.
According to the food retailer, the consumer business – water, food and beverage – contributed 55 per cent of the group’s top-line, while the remaining 45 per cent came from the agri-business – flour and animal feed.
The agri-business registered a 4.9 per cent y-o-y growth, mainly driven by the outperformance of the flour segment, which registered a top line growth of 11 percent.
In the water & beverage category, the 5-gallon business registered a growth at 7.8 percent due to higher demand from homes, while all of Agthia’s water portfolio – Al Ain Water, Al Bayan and Alpin – maintained their market leadership at respective 27 and 24 percent volume and value shares.
The food segment too recorded a significant y-o-y growth of 32 percent, made possible by the proactive response to the increased at-home consumption and growing e-commerce orders.
On the results, Al Suwaidi said: "Agthia’s progress over the past year is a positive indicator of the group’s resilience and its ability to maintain shareholder confidence despite challenging conditions. As we look towards the future, we will continue our proactive efforts to address consumer demands and unlock new opportunities for growth that will further expand and cement Agthia’s leadership in the region."
CEO Alan Smith said: "Over the past year, Agthia has rapidly adapted our business to respond to the changing consumer habits and demands, ensuring we are capable of combating the impact of the pandemic in all the countries we operate in."
"We have strengthened the financial resilience of the Group and are well positioned to look to the future. We will continue to build on this momentum and deliver superior shareholder value through prioritising consumer trust and our commitment to sustainable revenue growth," he noted.
A prominent player in the F&B sector, Agthia had last year announced a major shake-up in the organisation replacing its CEO and executive team besides constituting a new board.
Key achievements of the group in 2020 included the acquisitions of Al Foah, the world’s largest dates processing and packaging brand, and Al Faysal Bakery & Sweets, one of Kuwait’s leading industrial bakeries, along with the UAE-distribution partnership agreement with VOSS of Norway AS.
On the sustainability front, Agthia launched the region’s first plant-based packaging for the Al Ain bottled water while signing an MoU with Veolia to launch a PET water bottles collection initiative in the UAE, it added.