Agthia appoints ex-Mondelez regional head as chief executive

Alan Smith had spent 19 years at the US confectionery multinational, most recently as Middle East and Pakistan managing director

Agthia reported a  drop in its first-half net profit on Tuesday.​​ Delores Johnson / The National
Agthia reported a  drop in its first-half net profit on Tuesday.​​ Delores Johnson / The National

Agthia, the Abu Dhabi-based food and beverage company that owns the Al Ain water brand, appointed Alan Smith as chief executive officer.

Mr Smith, who has experience in the FMCG sector across the Middle East and Pakistan, is taking over from acting chief executive Jamal Al Dhaheri, who was appointed by the board in March for a transition period.

Mr Smith was previously with US confectionary multinational Mondelez International, where he spent more than 19 years in various roles, and was most recently managing director for the company's Middle East and Pakistan region.

"As Agthia Group expects to continue expanding operations across regional markets and diversifying product offerings, Alan’s depth of experience and track record of success in the industry will be instrumental,” said Khalifa Al Suwaidi, chairman of Agthia Group and chief investment officer of Abu Dhabi government-owned holding company ADQ.

Agthia also owns a number of food, dairy, juices, baked goods, flour and animal feed brands. In the three months to March 31, the company reported a 33 per cent year-on-year fall in net profit to shareholders of Dh26.6m despite 12 per cent revenue growth, to Dh570.9m. At the end of February, it had a 31.9 per cent share of the UAE's bottled water market, according to market research firm Nielsen.

Mr Smith’s appointment comes at a time when Agthia remains focused on expansion and growth in the food and beverages segment, the company said.

The new chief executive’s role is expected to spearhead "international expansion” as well as, "deliver value to shareholders and contribute to Abu Dhabi efforts to develop key sectors of its non-oil economy”, Mr Al Suwaidi said.

Published: July 7, 2020 01:43 PM

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