BY MOHAMMAD SHOEB
DOHA: Mannai Corportation, one of the largest trading and service companies in Qatar with a diversified business portfolio, is looking forward to acquiring businesses in a wide range of sectors, including jewellery and watches in the local market as well as overseas, said a senior official of the group yesterday.
“We have successfully completed the 100 percent acquisition of Damas in the first quarter of this year, and still looking for more acquisitions wherever the opportunity arises,” said Alekh Grewal, Group CEO and Director of Mannai Corporation.
Grewal, speaking on the sidelines of the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), said: “We have over 10 businesses in Qatar, and each of them is well-positioned to acquire one or two companies and exploring investment opportunities in their respective fields.”
However, he said that since every sector of the Qatari economy is expecting a boom in the coming years, there is nothing specific available in the market which is attractive enough for acquisition.
According to Grewal, the group earned nearly 14 percent return on investment in Damas in 2013, which stood at about Dh252m profits, and it is expecting more returns in the current year.
The AGM, chaired by Sheikh Suhaim bin Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Thani, Vice Chairman of the company, approved the recommendations of the board of directors to distribute a cash dividend of 55 percent to shareholders, that is QR5.5 per share owned, as the company registered a strong profit during 2013. On behalf of Sheikh Hamad bin Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairman of the company, Sheikh Suhaim, said: “The board’s medium-term strategy continues to be to maintain a strong capital base for growth, expansion of the company’s overseas earnings and the continued development of our core business in Qatar.”
He also said: “As a result of the company’s strength of earnings from Qatar and our international operations the board was pleased to recommend an increase in dividends from 47.5 percent in the previous year (2012) to 55 percent in 2013.”
Speaking about the company’s performance in 2013, the Group CEO, added: “Our international diversification strategy has contributed 51 percent of revenues from international operations, which has enabled the Corporation to deliver another year of record profits.”
Mannai Corporation Group’s net profit grew by 16.3 percent to QR539m for 2013. International acquisitions contributed 61 percent of net profit. The group’s revenue is up 17.5 percent to QR5.6bn in 2013 compared to QR4.7bn for the same period in 2012.
Mannai Corporation celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010 as one of the largest trading and service companies in Qatar. From its humble beginnings as an auto parts trader, the Mannai Group grew to encompass activities ranging from offshore rigs to telecommunications, with interests in many parts of the world.