Qatar’s most successful greenfield dairy farm Baladna has chalked out an ambitious strategy for this year to not only strengthen its core business by entering new product lines but also explore geographical expansion, especially South East Asia and beyond.
"Baladna intends to continue exploring opportunities to enter new product categories, if identified by our teams to be profitable within our capabilities" its chief executive Malcolm Jordan elaborated on the strategy for 2021 in the company's annual report that was presented at the recently held annual general assembly meeting of shareholders.
The general assembly approved the board proposal to distribute dividends at a rate of 5.3% of the nominal value of the share for the year ended 2020.
Highlighting that the company intends to continue to focus on its successful core business, he said the strategy will be to grow Baladna’s dairy and juice portfolio in a value accretive manner through innovation and experience.
Pointing out that its product portfolio had grown by 40.7% in 2020; he said Baladna achieved "significant" growth in terms of sales volume, revenue and net profit.
The identified markets with high profit margins such as processed cheese, whipping/cooking cream and long life juice were the key success factors of its revenue growth (of 68% year-on-year) and increase in margins in 2020.
In addition to revenue growth, a key priority remained driving margin growth via extracting efficiency gains across the value chain. The investments in additional farming and manufacturing capacity continued to deliver material benefits.
The company reported that herd yield improved by 14.9% whilst manufacturing conversion costs reduced by 13%.
He said Baladna has plans to replicate it successful model elsewhere in the world as it eyes expansion geographically.
"We continue to assess opportunities for geographical expansion – leveraging our existing asset base to develop an export business as well as transferring our experience and knowledge to business models in South East Asia and beyond," Jordan said.
He said 2021 is expected to be an "exciting" year during which Baladna would continue preparations to meet the "extensive demand" dynamics of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which is expected to result in a "significant" increase in Qatar’s population in the lead up to and during the event.
Continuing its focus on over the course of 2020 to achieve significant top- and bottom-line increases and secure its future as Qatar’s most successful dairy farm; Baladna chairman Moutaz al-Khayyat said this translated into "significant" improvement in the yield per cow, enhanced product portfolio through the development of more stock keeping units or SKUs and led to growth momentum through key initiatives in marketing, modern and traditional trade.
As of end-2020, Baladna maintains an extremely strong asset base; this is primarily funded by equity, which is also strong, as evidenced by the net debt-to-total-capital employed ratio of 34.5%, according to him.