L’azurde revenue up by 3.1%

Updated 10 November 2017
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L’azurde revenue up by 3.1%

L’azurde, the largest gold and jewelry designer, manufacturer, distributor and retailer in the Middle East, has announced its interim financial results for the three months, ending Sept. 30.
The company’s operating revenue for the third quarter of 2017 amounted to SR76.2 million, up by 3.1 percent, compared to the same quarter of last year.
The growth was mainly driven by a 17.4 percent increase in gold wholesale revenue in Saudi Arabia, and a 37 percent increase in retail revenue due to the strong performance of L’azurde mono-brand shops and the expansion of Kenaz and airports locations.
The operating expenses were in line with the same quarter of last year despite costs incurred to fund retail expansion.
Gross profit for the third quarter of 2017 amounted to SR44.9 million, in line with the same quarter of last year before IFRS adjustments. After a one off IFRS inventory valuation adjustment in the same quarter of last year, it was SR28.9 million lower.
The net income for the third quarter of 2017 amounted to SR0.5 million, an increase of SR0.7 million, compared to the same quarter of last year before IFRS inventory adjustments. After the one-off IFRS adjustments, net income was lower by SR28.2 million.
Commenting on the recent results, Sélim Chidiac, CEO of L’azurde, said: “Our strategy to invest in our brands, distribution networks and strategic relationships has enabled us to grow our revenue while keeping a tight grip on costs. The group is fully embracing the new house of brands growth strategy, with the latest initiative being the signing of the exclusive memorandum of understanding for a potential acquisition. The remainder of 2017 will see us work to concurrently develop both our wholesale and retail operations and capture new growth opportunities moving forward.”
In August, L’azurde signed an exclusive agreement with Saudi French Duty Free Operations and Management to be the exclusive supplier of gold and jewelry in the international terminals of three major airports in the Kingdom: King Khalid International Airport, King Abdul Aziz International Airport, and King Fahd International Airport.
Since it was founded in 1980, L’azurde has excelled at the art of jewelry design. Today, it is the fourth-largest gold manufacturer in the world, selling over a million pieces of jewelry per annum.


Ascott debuts in Africa with Kwarleyz Residence

Updated 15 October 2018
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Ascott debuts in Africa with Kwarleyz Residence

The Ascott Limited has cemented its footprint on the African continent with the opening of its first property in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Kwarleyz Residence, which is managed by Ascott, will be the first upscale international -class serviced residence to enter the flourishing Ghanaian market.
Thomas Wee, Ascott’s deputy managing director for the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India, said: “Ascott has been managing world-class serviced residences globally for over 30 years. The opening of our first property in Africa, Kwarleyz Residence, enables our worldwide network of corporate clients and the growing international travelers to experience Ascott’s award-winning hospitality on another continent.
“Africa is the world’s second fastest-growing economy after Asia and we see great potential in the region’s hospitality market. Africa’s huge economic growth is fueled by massive infrastructure development, favorable investment policies, and a young population.
With our strong expertise in hospitality management, Ascott aims to set the benchmark in the region by offering business and leisure travelers world-class extended stay accommodation and superior customer service.”
Wee added: “In addition to Kwarleyz Residence, we have secured a contract to manage Ascott 1 Oxford Street which will open in the heart of Accra in 2019.”
Located in the upscale airport residential district, Kwarleyz Residence is surrounded by embassies and the headquarters of gold mining companies. About a five-minute drive from the Kotoka International Airport, the property is within easy access to the Marina Mall at Airport City and Tema Industrial City, via the motorway.
Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional general manager for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, said: “We are proud to partner with Wonda World Estates to bring the first-of-its-kind hospitality offering to the Ghanaian capital and introduce sophisticated living in Accra with the opening of Kwarleyz Residence.”
Nana Kwame Bediako, president for the Kwarleyz Group of companies, which includes Wonda World Estates, said: “We see this collaborative project with our colleagues at Ascott as another example of Wonda World Estates, Kwarleyz Group, Cola Group and Kensington Residential Partners showcasing, either individually or as a collective, a commitment to the improvement of emerging markets across the African landscape.”
The 40-unit serviced residence provides a variety of studio and one- to three-bedroom apartments.
The property includes facilities such as a restaurant, coffee lounge, sky bar, rooftop garden and basement parking. Guests can relax and rejuvenate in the gymnasium, outdoor pool or spa.
The International Monetary Fund forecasts that Africa’s economy will be the second fastest growing in the world with an annual growth rate of 4.3 percent from 2016 to 2020. Ghana is ranked Africa’s fifth most attractive investment destination. Its foreign direct investment increased by nine percent to a record $3.5 billion in 2016.