MANAMA: Trafco Group, which has an annual sales turnover of more than $100 million, is looking for opportunities to expand its $14 million logistics complex in Galali, chairman Ebrahim Zainal has said.
Speaking on the sidelines of annual and extraordinary general meetings yesterday at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention and Spa, he said the planned expansion of storage space is driven by increases in the customer base including contracts with government agencies.
Mr Zainal said the group acquired eight plots of land with a total area of 97,000 sqft in the Investment Gateway of Bahrain in Galali/East Hidd, a special area for warehouses, workshops and commercial offices.
During last year, the board of Trafco floated a tender for the construction of the first stage of the warehousing on two plots with a total area of 23,000 sqft.
The contract to build the dry warehouse worth BD886,000 was awarded to one of the local construction companies.
Work started last September and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The chairman said the storage space will be used for the group’s inventory and for third party storage.
The core businesses of the group are import and distribution of food and non-food products, manufacturing, logistics and related activities.
Talking about Metro Markets Company, the retail arm of Trafco, Mr Zainal said the board was working towards improved profitability and performance across its eight branches around the country.
Last year saw the conversion of its Umm Al Hassam branch into a business-to-business wholesale operation and the company is currently refurbishing the East Riffa branch which is expected to reopen in May 2019.
According to the chairman, sales and distribution operations by group subsidiary Awal Dairy in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia are expected to commence this year.
All formal procedures have been completed including warehouse, office and lease of distribution vehicles and they are approved by local food authorities, he added.
The company has also earmarked new investments up to BD400,000 to increase production and marketing activities in Bahrain and Kuwait.
The AGM saw shareholders approval for a dividend of 18 per cent of the share capital, equivalent to 18 fils per share.
The group reported an increase of 10pc in net profit at BD1.84m for 2018 compared with BD1.67m in the previous year.
This translates to earnings per share of 24 fils as against 22 fils in previous year.
The increase in the net profit was due to overall improvement in the operations resulting in increased gross margin, said group chief executive S Sridhar.
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