Mannai Corp to open new innovation centres in Lisbon, Lyon
March 27 2019 09:10 PM
Mannai Corporation board outlining its strategies for 2019 and beyond before the shareholders. PICTU
Mannai Corporation board outlining its strategies for 2019 and beyond before the shareholders. PICTURE: Ram Chand

Mannai Corporation, which has a growing footprint across Europe and North Africa, is all set to open two innovation centres 'Fablabs' in Lisbon and Lyon.

With this, the Qatari company will have a total of six, including one in the new headquarters of Mannai at the Industrial Area. The other Fablabs are in Paris and Nantes in France as well as Gent in Belgium.

"Internationally, we will continue to innovate and integrate our ICT (information, communication and technology) services throughout Europe," Mannai chairman Sheikh Hamad bin Abdulla bin Khalifa al-Thani told shareholders at the general assembly.

In France, Mannai increased its shareholding in Gfi Informatique to make it a wholly owned subsidiary, and then delisted Gfi from the Euronext market in Paris. In Belgium, Gfi launched a friendly take-over of Realdolmen, a leading ICT company, with 1,200 staff, specialising in IT application services, IT infrastructure, and digital transformation in Belgium and Luxembourg.

The ICT division of Mannai Corporation, which is now an entity spread across several markets with group annual revenue exceeding QR10bn and Ebitda (earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortisation) in excess of QR1bn, will launch this year its 'cloud offering', based on an innovative modular data centre and power supply technology, to the Qatari market.

The information technology division contributed QR8.18bn, or about 76%, of the total revenue (of QR10.77bn) during 2018.

In 2018, of the total revenue, Europe accounted for QR5.98bn (about 56% of total revenue), followed by Qatar QR3.37bn (31%) and other GCC countries QR1.36bn (13%).

Mannai also said looking ahead, the retail sector is likely to remain challenged in 2019, particularly for its GCC-wide jewellery business in Damas.

"Following a strategic review in Damas we have taken the opportunity to bring new leadership into Damas to maintain our market leading position and prepare for the future in a changing retail landscape," Sheikh Hamad said.

Although the global outlook is still uncertain, he said regional business in the Gulf may start to improve during 2019, and Mannai stands ready to maximise its opportunities.

"We have confidence in the economy in Qatar, which has successfully weathered the storm of the blockade, and we aim to win our share of future infrastructure projects as they are released in the run up to 2022," he added.

The near term economic outlook remains challenging, however, the increase in energy prices should translate into a positive economic climate for businesses and improve consumer confidence, said its board of directors report.

"We remain committed to taking advantage of every opportunity available to us as we continue to build our businesses for profitable growth over the long term," the report said.

Last updated: March 27 2019 09:10 PM

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