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Almarai Net Income Beats Estimates, Driven by Revenue Growth

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Almarai Co., the Saudi Arabian company that operates a joint venture with PepsiCo Inc., said fourth-quarter profit rose 29 percent as revenue grew.

Net income increased to 369 million riyals ($98.4 million) from 285.5 million riyals a year earlier, the company said in a statement on the Saudi stock exchange website today. That was more than the 331 million-riyal average estimate of nine analysts compiled by Bloomberg News.

Almarai recorded a strong performance in the bakery and poultry, as well as the consolidation of International Dairy & Juice Ltd.

“We believe Almarai has a solid long-term growth outlook, with poultry and bakery expected to play an increasingly important role,” NCB Capital said today. “We believe margins have bottomed out, and thus continued evidence of this will act as a key catalyst for the stock price.”

Almarai gained 1.9 percent to 66.3 riyals. The shares have risen 4.3 percent this year.

Fourth-quarter operating profit increased 27 percent to 437.3 million riyals, the company said. It recommended a dividend of 1.25 riyals per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Deema Almashabi in Riyadh at dalmashabi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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