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Savola Predicts Further Earnings Surge After First-Quarter Boost

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April 13 (Bloomberg) -- Savola Group, a Saudi Arabian food producer, said it expects second-quarter profit to climb to 365 million riyals from 341.3 million riyals a year earlier, after reporting a 22 percent increase in the first quarter.

The Jeddah-based company had stronger revenue growth led by edible oils and increased its market share in the retail sector, according to a statement to the Saudi stock market today. Savola shares, up 10.3 percent this year compared with a 6.2 percent increase for the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index, closed 1.9 percent higher at 44.1 riyals in Riyadh, giving the company a market value of about 22.1 billion riyals.

“The company recorded financial results that were above expectations and also forecasts better results in Q2,” Mohammed Al-Omran, president of the Gulf Center for Financial Consultancy in Riyadh, said by e-mail. “This would give its share price a boost, which materialized today.”

Savola’s board recommended a dividend of 0.50 riyal a share for the first quarter, matching the previous quarter, according to the statement. The payout increased from a 0.30 riyal dividend in the three quarters before that, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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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