Majid Al Futtaim, the Middle East’s biggest mall operator, is leasing new stores in Uganda to expand its operations in the East African country.
The company, known for operating Carrefour supermarkets chain, has finalised an agreement with South African retailer Shoprite's arm in Uganda to lease six of its stores in different malls, Majid Al Futtaim said in statement on Wednesday.
“This agreement represents our continued investment in East Africa,” Hani Weiss, chief executive at Majid Al Futtaim Retail, said. “We look forward to strengthening our offering in the region and supporting local talent through employment and career development opportunities.”
Majid Al Futtaim launched its first Carrefour store in Uganda in December 2019 in Kampala’s Oasis Mall and in March 2021 opened its second store in Naalya.
Following the new deal, the company will have a total of eight Carrefour stores in the country. The six new stores are located in Acacia Mall in Kololo, Village Mall, Victoria Mall and Lugogo Mall in Entebbe and Clock Tower and Arena Mall in Kampala, according to the company.
The deal comes as Shoprite seeks to exit its Uganda operations.
Majid Al Futtaim operates more than 375 Carrefour stores in 17 countries employing more than 37,000 people and serving 750,000 customers per day. It also owns and operates 29 shopping malls, 13 hotels and four mixed-use communities, with further developments under way in the region.
The company is pressing on with its expansion plans, even as it reported a drop in first-half earnings as large-scale business disruptions affected revenue.
The company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, or Ebitda, for the six months ending June 30, fell 27 per cent to Dh1.6 billion. Revenue for the reporting period declined 3 per cent to Dh17.3bn, it said last month.
The retail arm of the company, which is behind Mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai, reported strong results during the first six months. Revenue increased 4 per cent to Dh15.1bn, while Ebitda grew 18 per cent to Dh709 million.
It opened the Mall of Oman in Muscat earlier this month to boost its retail offering in the sultanate.