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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

RAK Ceramics posts Dh270m profit for 2017 

RAK’s chief executive officer says 2018 may see growth despite headwinds

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

RAK Ceramics, the world’s fourth-largest producer of ceramics, returned to profitability in 2017, on the back of higher revenues, after the company took a loss in the previous year because of provisions related to inventory and other one offs.

Net income after minority interest rose to Dh270.5 million in 2017 compared to a loss of Dh4.9m in 2016, the Ras al-Khaimah company said in a statement on the website of the Abu Dhabi stock exchange. Total revenue rose 2.2 per cent to Dh2.85b in 2017 compared to Dh2.79b in 2016.

The company’s chief executive officer said that 2018 held growth potential despite headwinds from increased competition and geopolitical instability, especially from its businesses in Bangladesh and India.

“Looking ahead to 2018, there are a number of external factors that might affect our business with increased competition, gas and oil price volatility and geo-political headwinds,” Abdallah Massaad, the company’s chief executive officer said in a statement.

“However, we see that GDP is growing in all our core markets and the UAE and KSA have higher government infrastructure budgets this year: positive trends for growth.”

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The company is also increasing its sales in the fast growing emerging markets of Bangladesh and India. RAK Ceramics said in November it was planning to expand its business by nearly two thirds in India where it sees potential for outsized growth in the wake of increased spending on infrastructure.

The company is planning to increase "soon" its output in India to 18 million metric tons from its current 11m tons, Mr Massaad told The National at the time. RAK produces 110 million square meters of ceramic annually.

India's economy has benefited in the past couple of years from low oil prices because it's a net energy importer. Since Prime Minister Narenda Modi came to power in 2014, the fortunes of the economy have improved as the reform minded prime minister moved to cut red tape and reduce subsidies, pushing the country’s benchmark stock index to a record high.

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