Qatar's Baladna targets 15%-20% annual revenue growth over next 5 years

The company saw profit soar 152%


DUBAI- Qatari dairy and juice maker Baladna BLDN.QA will target revenue growth of 15-20% each year over the next five years and expects to increase domestic market share as well as to grow internationally.

The company, well-known for flying thousands of dairy cows to Qatar to beat a trade embargo imposed in 2017, is increasing its product lines to add items with long shelf lives, such as milk and cream.

"We continue to develop the business where we would expect strong double-digit growth," Chief Executive Malcolm Jordan told Reuters. "We would want to be twice the size we are today within the next five years."

The company saw profit soar 152% to 152 million riyal ($41.75 million) in 2020, while revenue jumped 68% to 815 million riyal.

Jordan said there was potential for significant market share gains in Qatar and the company was exploring new export opportunities, including for cheese, in Africa and South East Asia.

Baladna, with a market capitalisation of some $850 million, says it already exports to Gabon, Iraq, Libya, Mauritania, Oman and Somalia.

It is working with companies in Malaysia to manufacture fresh products locally, a model which Jordan said could potentially be replicated in some African markets.

Baladna helped to establish a dairy industry in Qatar after Saudi Arabia and some Arab states cut ties with Doha over a political dispute that also severed important trade links.

It flew thousands of cows into the Gulf state soon after the start of the crisis to allow local dairy production.

The dispute ended in January and Jordan said Baladna would consider entering some of the countries who cut ties once the trading relationship with Qatar normalises.

"I think we have the right quality. We have the right product range to be able to go to those markets and compete strongly," he said.

($1 = 3.6411 Qatar riyals)

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; editing by Barbara Lewis) ((;))

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