Saudi's DIY chain SACO declares $4.8mln payout for shareholders

Cash dividends announced after firm sees improvement in sales despite COVID-19

  
A Saudi man looks at the computer showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

A Saudi man looks at the computer showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Saudi Company for Hardware (SACO), a popular DIY chain that operates 32 retail outlets across the kingdom, has announced it will reward shareholders with cash dividends worth 18 million riyals ($4.8 million) for the first half of 2020.

A total of 36 million shares will be eligible for the funds, which will be apportioned at 0.5 riyals per share, the company said in a filing with the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) on Sunday.

Payable starting on August 30, 2020, the dividend distribution was approved despite the overall economic slowdown induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

SACO had earlier reported a 39 percent year-on-year decline in net profits for the first three months of the year, but it managed to improve its cash flow in the succeeding quarter.

By the end of June, the company’s net profit went up by 9.6 percent compared to a year earlier.

The increase has been attributed to the improvement in sales prior to the implementation of the value-added tax (VAT) increase in Saudi Arabia.

The company said its sales have increased due to a surge in demand from customers shortly before the VAT hike took effect.

“[The] VAT rate from 5 percent to 15 percent… resulted in increasing the demand on the company’s products before the implementation of the new VAT rate,” the company reported.

The home improvement chain has presence in 18 cities throughout the kingdom, with more than 45,000 products.

(Reporter by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com

#SAUDI #SACO #EQUITIES #DIVIDENDS

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