Agthia reports 12% rise in first-quarter revenue due to growth in consumer and agribusiness units

Sales climb to Dh571m but profit slid to Dh27m on higher costs

Agthia reported a  drop in its first-half net profit on Tuesday.​​ Delores Johnson / The National
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Agthia, the Abu Dhabi food and beverage company that produces Al Ain water, reported a 12 per cent increase in its first-quarter revenue on the back of higher sales of products in its consumer and agribusiness segments.

Revenue for the period ending March 31 climbed to Dh570.9 million, the company said in a filing to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares trade. However, net profit attributable to owners of the company slid 33 per cent to Dh26.6m as costs increased and the company took on provisions for bad debt and possible delays in collection of payments in international markets.

“In [the] water segment, Agthia’s portfolio – Al Ain water, Al Bayan and Alpin –sustained leadership in both volume and value share, at respective 29 and 26.4 per cent, as we succeeded in systematically growing our market share on a monthly basis since October 2019 despite a shrinking overall category,” said Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi, chairman of Agthia.

“In agri-business, retail flour not only retained its market-leading position but also recorded significant growth as we expand domestically into the Northern Emirates, adopt new consumers and widen our export network.”

Revenue in its consumer business grew 6 per cent year-on-year to Dh298m and in agri-business sales rose 21 per cent to Dh273m on the back of strong domestic sales and a one-off order from the World Food Programme, according to the company.

Selling and distribution expenses rose 10 per cent to Dh97m and general and administrative expenses climbed 26 per cent to Dh48.1m. Finance income rose to Dh6.5m, from Dh5.6m recorded in the previous quarter.

Total assets as of March 31 stood at Dh3.3 billion, up 6.4 per cent versus year-end.

In the consumer business, sales from the water and beverage segment came in at Dh216m. In the UAE, the company’s 5-gallon home and office distribution business grew 8 per cent year-on-year on higher shipped volumes, whereas general bottled water sales recorded a marginal decline.

“Our international markets recorded mixed results, wherein the outperformance of our   Kuwaiti operations was offset by the drop in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sales,” said Mr Al Suwaidi.

“Better agri-business profitability, cost optimisation and excluding the one-off tax credit recorded in Turkey last year reduce the combined impact of the de-growth in bottled water category in the UAE and bad debt provisioning against longer collection days in international markets," he said.