x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Al Islami lifted by halal food demand in new markets

Al Islami Food increases its net profits as demand grows in Russia and Caucasus region.

Al Islami reported a 65 per cent growth in profit to Dh15.2 million in 2013 from Dh9.2m a year earlier. International sales grew 14 per cent last year. Charles Crowell for The National
Al Islami reported a 65 per cent growth in profit to Dh15.2 million in 2013 from Dh9.2m a year earlier. International sales grew 14 per cent last year. Charles Crowell for The National

Demand for halal food in new markets such as the former Soviet states, Yemen, Iraq and Libya led to increased profits at the Dubai-based Al Islami foods.

Owned by Dubai Cooperative Society, Al Islami reported a 65 per cent growth in profit to Dh15.2 million last year from Dh9.2m in 2012. International sales grew 14 per cent last year.

“In non-GCC countries where we have witnessed a huge demand for halal food products, Al Islami will continue to invest in developing our supply chain infrastructure and building the distribution network,” said Hamid Badawi, the deputy chief executive at Al Islami.

The company said its investments in supply chain infrastructure in countries such as Russia and the Caucasus region over the past two years had paid off.

The Muslim population in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States is estimated at 284 million.

“The GCC market showed a marginal increase in terms of food consumption,” said Saleh Saeed Lootah, the chairman of Al Islami.

After a push in regional markets, the company is now looking to South East Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia to increase its footprint.

Al Islami said that it expects sales to increase during Ramadan.

The 44-year-old company is building a Dh100 million food processing factory – its first – in Dubai Investment Park that would triple its capacity to 1,500 metric tonnes a month when it becomes operational early next year. The 11,500-square foot facility will also generate 1,000 jobs, and produce sausages, burgers and minced meat among other products.

The company has a warehousing facility in Jebel Ali and storage areas in Dubai Investment Park, exporting to the Gulf countries, Iraq, Egypt and Yemen.

Last year, Dubai announced it aims to be the halal capital of the world. In the initial phase, it is building two halal clusters, with one each in Jafza and TechnoPark, covering 850,000 sq metres and 700,000 sq metres respectively.

Food companies are increasing their presence in the halal industry. Among the multinational companies, Nestlé has 150 of 468 factories worldwide as halal certified, according to a report from Thompson Reuters in December.

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