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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

RAK Ceramics posts 2% increase in first-quarter profit as company focuses on efficiency

Total sales at listed ceramic-tiles maker dropped, company to focus on operational efficiency in 2018

RAK Ceramics second quarter net income slumped as costs climbed. Courtesy RAK ceramics
RAK Ceramics second quarter net income slumped as costs climbed. Courtesy RAK ceramics

Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics, one of the world’s top five makers of ceramic tiles, said first-quarter profit rose 2 per cent as expenses declined. The company said it will focus on operational efficiency during the rest of the year.

The Abu Dhabi-listed manufacturer's net profit attributable to the owners of the company rose to Dh56 million in the first three months of the year ending March 31 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded. Total sales fell 2.8 per cent to Dh 661.8 million after it halted its rough grading business.

“Our first quarter performance was stable and in line with expectations despite an increase in our energy costs, which we were able to offset through improvements in our operational efficiencies,” said Abdallah Massaad, Group CEO, RAK Ceramics.

The company earlier said performance this year may be impacted by increased competition, oil price volatility, and geopolitical headwinds. In November RAK Ceramics said it was planning to expand its business by nearly two thirds in India where it sees potential for growth in the wake of increased spending on infrastructure.

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Looking forward, the company said economies of all its core markets are growing and higher infrastructure spending in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the two largest economies in the Arab world, bodes well for its performance throughout 2018.

Key markets in the UAE, India and Bangladesh “remain strong”, the company said. UAE tile revenues were up 19 per cent and India tile sales grew 15.9 per cent following a joint venture set up in the country late last year. Bangladesh tile sales rose 3.9 per cent year on year.

“Looking ahead for the rest of the year, we remain focused on creating further operational efficiencies and progressing with our value creation plan,” Mr Massaad said.