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FIRM MISSES FORECAST

Savola Q4 net profit plunges 17pc

Jeddah, January 16, 2013

Savola Group, the Saudi-based food conglomerate, made a net profit of SR413.4 million ($110.2 million) in the three months ending December 31, marking a drop of 17 per cent drop in fourth-quarter.

The firm, which owns the Middle East's biggest sugar refining business, missed analysts' forecasts, mainly due to a gain it booked from land sales in the year-ago quarter.

It compared with a profit of 498.6 million riyals in the same period a year earlier, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Three analysts surveyed by Reuters expected Savola to post an average profit of 456.7 million riyals for the fourth-quarter.

Savola attributed the dip in profits to a capital gain of 153 million riyals it incurred from the sale of two land plots during the fourth quarter of 2011.

Operational profit for the fourth-quarter rose by 32.3 per cent to 792.2 million riyals, the statement said.

In a separate statement, Savola said it expects to make 1.5 billion riyals before capital gains and exceptional items in 2013 and net income of 260 million riyals in the first-quarter.

The company also set a dividend of 0.5 riyals per share for the fourth quarter.

In October, Savola raised its stake in fellow Saudi food firm Almarai Co to 36.5 per cent from 29.95 percent by purchasing shares worth 2 billion riyals.

The firm was set to close a 1.5 billion ($400 million) Islamic bond earlier this week, sources told Reuters. – Reuters




Tags: Saudi Arabia | Savola | profit | Sugar | Fourth quarter |

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