Shaker Group announces reduced Q3 losses

Shaker Group is headquartered in Riyadh.
Updated 12 November 2018
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Shaker Group announces reduced Q3 losses

Shaker Group, a Saudi importer, manufacturer and distributor of air conditioners and home appliances, has announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2018 and the nine-month period ending Sept. 30.

The losses for the third quarter, at both net and operating levels, decreased compared to Q3 2017, as a result of improvements in the group’s gross margin and the delivery of reduced operating costs, showing that initiatives for reducing expenses in line with management’s optimization program are already effective. The general and administrative expenses were reduced by SR1.6 million ($426,600), resulting from lower employee costs. Costs were further reduced by a SR0.7 million decrease in financing expenses as compared with 2017.

On a year-on-year basis, the company was successful in reducing general and administrative expenses by 11.4 percent for the nine months ending Sept. 30, while selling and distribution expenses decreased by 12.8 percent and other expenses decreased by SR14.2 million. 

Azzam Saud Almudaiheem, chief executive at Shaker Group, said: “While we continue to face pressure on sales revenues as a result of market challenges including increased competition, a lackluster construction sector and unfavorable seasonality in the third quarter, we are pleased that our efforts to reduce operating expenses and improve efficiencies are delivering results. We are bullish on the positive effect we expect to see from our cost optimization measures, and while we have experienced difficult years in a challenging market, we are addressing these issues head-on to achieve improved performance. We remain confident that the market for air conditioners and home appliances will show long-term promise, which we will actively exploit.”

The net losses for the nine-month period increased compared to the same period in 2017, mainly due to a decrease in sales of 27.2 percent, resulting from sustained market headwinds that include increased competition, muted customer demand, and reduced spending on real estate and construction projects in Saudi Arabia. 


Ford trains 1,600 motorists in Mideast, Africa in 2018

Updated 11 December 2018
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Ford trains 1,600 motorists in Mideast, Africa in 2018

Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) has wrapped up a successful 2018 having added programs in two new markets — Morocco and Madagascar — as well as having launched a women-only program in Saudi Arabia. The training program reached more than 1,600 inexperienced motorists in 10 cities around the Middle East and Africa.

Providing free training and instilling safe driving practices, the DSFL program offered an opportunity to gain experience in the four main primary driving skills: Hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed management, and space management.

This year, Ford DSFL was run in the UAE (Dubai), Kenya (Nairobi), Uganda (Gulu Town), and four cities in South Africa (Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Rustenburg, and Pretoria), while Casablanca welcomed Morocco’s first-ever DSFL for three days of training in October. 

Antananarivo in Madagascar also joined the DSFL family when it played host to 50 members of the media, and a train-the-trainer for distributor staff, in September, becoming the eighth market in sub-Saharan Africa alone to benefit from the introduction of Ford’s program.

In addition, on its return to Jeddah, Ford hosted the global debut of its DSFL for Her, a new customized version of Ford’s award-winning safe-driving initiative, helping to build confidence behind the wheel as participants in the Kingdom prepared to be among the first-ever women to be issued a driving license in the country.

The DSFL for Her course followed the landmark decision last year, as decreed by King Salman to lift the ban on females driving in Saudi Arabia.

“Safety continues to be a key priority for Ford, and providing campaigns such as DSFL can only help reduce the number of road accidents, and increase young drivers’ knowledge and confidence on the road,” said Jim Graham, global manager, Ford Driving Skills for Life. 

“Ford also made history in 2018 when it hosted the first-ever practical hands-on driving training for women in Saudi Arabia — DSFL for Her — specifically designed to accommodate Saudi females embarking on their first journey behind the wheel of a car. These are the kinds of occasions that make Ford exceptionally proud of the success DSFL has enjoyed this year, as the program continues its rapid expansion, and evolves to adapt to the needs of the markets in which it operates,” Graham added.

Ford Driving Skills for Life was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly licensed drivers necessary skills beyond standard driver education programs. In 2008, the program expanded to Asia Pacific, and in 2013, Ford DSFL branched out into both Europe and the Middle East.

In 2017, the free program celebrated reaching the one-millionth newly licensed driver trained.