Patrick Stillhart, CEO of SADAFCO

Riyadh "Riyadh Daily"
SADAFCO Doubles its Dividend Despite Shortened Year, Signaling Financial Strength

Saudia Dairy and Food Stuff Company (SADAFCO), the leader in the UHT (long life) milk, ice cream and tomato paste in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, announced a significant boost to shareholder returns with a proposed doubling of dividends for the nine months ending December 31, 2023. This move underscores the company's robust financial performance despite a shortened fiscal year due to a calendar shift. 

Dividend Doubling

SADAFCO's Board of Directors proposed a total dividend of SAR 12 per share for the nine-month period, compared to SAR 6 per share for the full year in 2022. This translates to a 100% increase in dividends per share, rewarding investors for the company's strong financial health.

- Shareholders have already received SAR 6 per share for the first half.

- An additional SAR 6 per share is recommended as a final dividend, subject to shareholder approval at the upcoming AGM (Annual General Meeting). 

Financial Performance Soars

The dividend increase comes on the heels of impressive financial results. SADAFCO reported a 6.7% year-over-year jump in sales to SAR 2.1 billion. This growth, coupled with improved efficiency, led to a significant 47.2% surge in net profit to SAR 325 million while it was SAR 220 in 2022. The company's gross profit margin also expanded to 35.6% from 31.4% in the prior period.

Solid Foundation, Strategic Investments

SADAFCO's strong financial position provides a solid foundation for its dividend policy. The company boasts a healthy balance sheet with SAR 1 billion in cash and short-term investments. Shareholders' equity also climbed to SAR 1.901 billion as of December 31, 2023, demonstrating continued growth, while it was 1.663 billion on 31 December 2022. 

Expanding Infrastructure

Further strengthening its operational efficiency, SADAFCO successfully inaugurated the new Makkah Depot during the year. Construction for the new Yanbu Depot is also underway, signifying the company's commitment to expanding its distribution network.

"Our progressively strong financial results are a reflection of the Saudia brand strength and the prudent decision making by the Board and the management," said Patrick Stillhart, CEO of SADAFCO. 

"Looking ahead, SADAFCO remains committed to long-term investments in its brands. Recent product launches like Double Chocolate (dairy), Coconut & Almond (non-dairy alternatives), and the SAUDIA by Mezete culinary range highlight this commitment to innovation," said Stillhart. "These strategic investments have yielded positive results, with the company solidifying its market share leadership in core categories like Milk Plain UHT (64.1%), Tomato Paste (56.6%), and Ice Cream (31.6%)." 

"While acknowledging the challenges posed by the Red Sea blockade, which causes delays and additional costs for regional businesses, SADAFCO remains confident in its ability to navigate these headwinds," said the CEO. "Our focus on ESG continues with the addition of our first electric ice cream truck. This eco-friendly innovation not only reduces our environmental footprint, but also aligns with our commitment to operational efficiency."

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