06 October 2016By Peter Alagos
Al Meera shareholders at their extraordinary general assembly meeting in Doha on Wednesday night approved an amendment enabling the transfer of 26% shares in the company, currently being held by the Government of Qatar, to Qatar Holding Company.
Al Meera Consumer Goods Company vice-chairman Dr Saif Said al-Sowaidim, who presided over the meeting, said: “The call for this Extraordinary General Assembly meeting of Al Meera Consumer Goods Company stems from the keenness of the board of directors to interact with shareholders, in the framework of the system of governance and related laws, to address topics on the agenda.”
He added: “Your company has been able to take firm steps that empowered it to assume a leading position in the consumer goods retail sector. In this context, the company relies on its expansion and development plan, in order to keep pace with the population boom and the urban changes in the state of Qatar, along with its ongoing pursuit of meeting the expectations of consumers and the ambitions and goals of shareholders. Your company is still the focus of attention of local and foreign investors and their investment destination of choice, which is what gives us confidence in the market, and drives us towards exerting more effort.”
According to Al Meera’s 2015 annual report released earlier this year, “2015 was yet another year of outstanding accomplishments and tremendous achievements in the company’s expansion milestones, operations and financial growth.”
“Bringing life to family shopping,” the report reaffirmed the company’s adherence to world-class shopping standards at the service of consumer needs and satisfaction, as well as at the various communities, nationals, and residents in the state of Qatar.
The board of directors’ report stated that Al Meera’s expansion plans are stretching to new heights with the setup of 14 new shopping centres spread across the country — a result of strategic research to keep pace with Qatar’s urban planning, which has extended to new areas and others that have recently witnessed a population boom.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, deputy CEO Dr Mohamed Nasser al-Qahtani said construction work for the five new stores is already complete. The company, he added, expects to open the new stores in succession by January 2017.
“We are just waiting for the necessary permits from concerned authorities. Once we have obtained these documents, we plan to open the new stores in the next three months,” al-Qahtani told Gulf Times.
The five stores are included in the 14 new branches Al Meera plans to open as part of the company’s thrust to expand its footprint in Qatar.
Asked about expansion plans abroad, al-Qahtani said Al Meera has no plans to open other stores outside Qatar. “We are focused on completing the 14 new stores, which we expect to open in the next two years.”
Al-Qahtani also expressed optimism that Al Meera will experience an increase in footfall once the new stores are operational. “We will test the market but our customers can expect excellent service from Al Meera.”