The main targets for investment this year will be a new automated production facility, along with a centralised storage facility, to improve supply chain efficiencies, according to Al Rawabi. In recent years the firm has spent significant amounts on upgrading its operations, including US$34m to expand its farm and increase cattle numbers in 2013, and US$6m on new filling lines in 2014.
Farm and feed investments too?
According to UAE paper The National, Al Rawabi may also be planning to build a new US$100m farm in Liwa, to allow its herd to expand to at least 15,500 cattle, up from its current level of 12,500. The paper said Al Rawabi may also consider up to US$200m in acquisitions to secure supplies of feeds such as alfalfa.
Al Rawabi’s chairman, Abdallah Sultan Al Owais, told a press conference: “In 2015, we grew by 15% compared to an industry average of 7%. This achievement is the result of strategic thinking, phased investments over the years, innovation and commitment of [Al Rawabi CEO] Dr [Ahmed] El Tigani and his team to the brand. We have an ambitious road ahead and our mission is to be a MENA brand by 2020 with presence in key markets across the region.”
He added that the firm expected to see 15% growth in 2016 as well.
El Tigani said that by 2020 the firm planned to be present in all GCC countries and double its 2015 turnover. By the end of 2016, he said Al Rawabi was aiming to be present in 15,000 stores across the region, up from 12,500 at the moment.
Product launches focus on health
According to the company’s vice-chairman, Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Al Rawabi will also introduce new products this year: “This year we are looking at enhancing our portfolio with an unparalleled range of new value added products. These products will also seek to address key lifestyle-related concerns of our society like obesity, hypertension, diabetes and vitamin D deficiency.
“The company will expand its range of fresh juices and is also working on reducing sugar content in fruit juice without compromising on taste. In the dairy products category, Al Rawabi is also looking at introducing a range of cheeses and to expand into new category of products, including ice creams,” he added.
Currently Al Rawabi produces around 325,000 litres of dairy products and 175,000 litres of juice per day.