LONDON: RAK Ceramics is considering adding a secondary manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia to meet local demand as well as growing export markets in Europe.
The UAE-based tile maker reported an 8.5 percent decline in second quarter profits to 110 million dirhams ($29.9 million) compared to a year earlier as it absorbed rising energy costs.
Total revenue fell 6.8 percent to 1.29 billion dirhams during the period, but its sanitaryware sales were lifted 7.6 percent on sales to Saudi Arabia, India and Europe.
“We have seen an improvement in our gross margins during the period due to continued investment in operational efficiencies,” said RAK Ceramics Group CEO Abdallah Massaad. “Despite high energy costs, we remain focused on running an efficient and profitable business.”
A slowdown in the regional construction industry has hurt demand for tiles as fewer new villas and apartments are built while at the same time, the strong US dollar to which the UAE dirham is pegged has made construction exports from the country more expensive.
RAK Ceramics is one of the largest ceramics’ brands in the world with the capacity to produce 123 million square meters of tiling per year across its 22 factories in the UAE, India, Bangladesh and China.