The firm also announced its first-quarter results, which saw mixed fortunes for Almarai with falling sales but rising profits. Profits rose 7.25% year-on-year to reach US$73m, but turnover fell 9.6% to US$725m.
Last month Almarai revealed it will invest US$1.3bn in a facility in Hail for its Al-Youm poultry subsidiary. Once operational, the Hail facility will process 200 million birds a year, and employ 3,000 workers – and will also expand the firm's feed requirements.
Almarai's main imports at the port will be corn, soybeans and alfalfa. The firm signed the agreement with the port's operator Ports Development Company (PDC) for a dedicated, but non-exclusive, berth, and will also invest in a crane and other required dock-side equipment. It will also become the first tenant of the port's Processing and Service Zone.
“We are extremely proud to partner with Ports Development Company based on our selection to set up at King Abdullah Port, which was determined based on the exceptional amenities and possibilities that the port will offer Almarai, which gratifies our needs for a logistical procedure for our imports and serves the developmental strategy of our company,” said Almarai CEO Abdulrahman Al Fadley.
Imports for sustainability
In April the company restated its 2011 commitment to sustainability and to work towards importing 100% of its animal feed, in order to preserve Saudi Arabia's dwindling water supplies and natural resources. Almarai already imports 100% of its alfalfa.
King Abdullah Port is part of King Abdullah Economic City, located around 100km north of Jeddah on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast. It aims to take advantage of its location on one of the world's major shipping lanes between Europe and Asia, via the Suez Canal.
Abdullah Hameedaddin, managing director of PDC, said: “This agreement comes in the framework of the exceptional efforts by Ports Development Company to continue be on top of the development works at King Abdullah Port with the most advanced machinery and technology to present an innovative understanding of ports amenities in the Kingdom, catering the requirements of both private and public sectors in line with global standards to meet the demand of Saudi firms that require complete logistical solutions in line with the nature of their businesses and objectives.”