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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - DUBAI: Saudi food wholesaler Abdullah Al Othaim Markets reported a 31 percent jump in net profit last year as food demand surged during lockdowns.
Profit rose to about SR451 million ($120.1 million) as overall sales rose by 7.9 percent to SR8.8 billion.
The growth in sales was “driven by high demand to buy food and grocery supplies during the closure periods imposed by the government to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak during the first half of the year," the company said in a statement to the Tadawul stock exchange.
However sales dipped in the second half as restrictions eased.
Gross margins also improved over the year, a trend reflected by the wider food retailing sector.
Still, the company said that its real estate activity was negatively affected during the first half of the year, as it granted discounts and exemptions to tenants as compensation for closure periods.
Saudi food groups have emerged as one of the regional retail bright spots over the last year as people stocked up on essential food items as lockdowns limited the potential to eat out at restaurants.
Last week Saudi food giant Savola reported a 92 percent jump in 2020 profits driven by rising demand for frozen foods.
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