Diversified Abu Dhabi group attributes drop to downturn in sectors such as oil and gas services
Senaat's 2016 profit edged lower
Senaat General Holding, one of Abu Dhabi’s largest industrial conglomerates, said its revenue and profit declined slightly last year, with managers citing a business downturn in some of its key sectors, especially oil and gas services.
Senaat, which oversees a Dh27 billion portfolio of businesses in sectors including metals, building materials, oil and gas services, and agricultural products, said revenue declined last year by 4.3 per cent or Dh600 million, to Dh13.4bn, while earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortization were down 10 per cent or Dh200m to Dh1.8bn.
Despite the lower operating numbers, the company said it invested a further Dh1bn last year and the overall value of the portfolio increased by just over Dh600m, to Dh27.4bn.
“Despite the market cycle we are in, our portfolio remains strong, and our financial position is solid as we progress into the new year,” said Jamal Al Dhaheri, the group’s chief executive.
The Senaat portfolio incorporates companies that were around before it was started in 2004, including National Petroleum Construction Company, which makes rigs and other equipment for oil and gas drilling; also metals makers Ducab and Emirates Steel; and more recently added businesses which includes food processors Agthia and Foah.
The chief executive said that while some areas were weak, food and beverage units posted strong numbers. “Indeed, the UAE food and beverage market is expected to continue to grow,” he said.
KPMG in its food and beverage report last year put the UAE market at Dh52.4bn, with prospects for strong growth continuing as visitor numbers increase and with Expo 2020 on the horizon.
The newest member of the Senaat group, Al Gharbia Pipe Company, a joint venture with Japanese steelmakers JFE and Marubeni-Itochu, broke ground last year and is expected to ramp up to annual production of 240,000 tonnes of product capable of use in Abu Dhabi’s booming sour gas developments.
“We continued to show our resilience as a group and also contribute to the diversification of Abu Dhabi’s economy,” Hussain Al Nowais, the group chairman, said.
Senaat estimates the compound annual growth rate of the portfolio at 18 per cent since it began in 2004.