Saudi retail giant BinDawood reports 200% growth in online sales amid coronavirus pandemic

App installations of BinDawood Holding’s two e-commerce platforms – Danube and BinDawood Online – topped 400 percent. (Supplied)
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Updated 27 March 2020

Saudi retail giant BinDawood reports 200% growth in online sales amid coronavirus pandemic

DUBAI: Saudi Arabian retailer BinDawood Holding has seen a 200 percent increase in its online sales since the escalation of the coronavirus crisis.

BinDawood Holding’s two e-commerce platforms – Danube and BinDawood Online – have recorded a “significant upturn in organic growth the last few weeks”, according to Majed M. Al-Tahan, the co-founder and managing director of Danube Online.

“Our average sales on a 10-day basis has shot up 200 percent, with our average order value up 50 percent and our app installations topping 400 percent,” Al-Tahan said. “The demand has been so great that we are adding jobs [such as packers and drivers]. It has been an incredibly busy period.”

Ahmad AR. BinDawood, chief executive of Danube & BinDawood, BinDawood Holding, said all its stores remain open in the Kingdom, with additional stringent sanitization measures to protect its customers and staff.

“All our 72 stores remain open and we continue to provide effective customer service as we play an important role in serving the communities across the kingdom,” BinDawood said.

“This week, as planned, the newest Danube store opened in Al Andalus in Riyadh, with the support of the government, to cope with the demand that is happening,” he added.


Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

Updated 49 min 58 sec ago

Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

  • Aramco see’s “partial recovery” from pandemic impact
  • Aramco president says company remains resilient

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, reported a net income of $6.57bn for the second quarter of 2020, the period which witnessed the most volatile oil market conditions for many decades.

The result, announced to the Tadawul stock exchange in Riyadh where the shares are listed, compared with income of $24.7 bn last year.

Amin Nasser, president and chief executive, said: “Despite COVID-19 bringing the world to a standstill, Aramco kept going. We have proven our financial resilience and operational reliability, setting a record in our business operations, while at the same time taking steps to ensure the health and safety of our people.”

Aramco’s dividend - a big attraction for the investors who bought into the world’s biggest initial public offering last year - will remain as pledged, Nasser added. Cash flow in the quarter amounted to $6.106 bn.

““Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second quarter results. Yet we delivered solid earnings because of our low production costs, unique scale, agile workforce, and unrivalled financial and operational strength. This helped us deliver on our plan to maintain a second quarter dividend of $18.75 billion to be paid in the third quarter,” he said.

Aramco said the loss was “mainly reflecting the impact of lower crude oil prices and declining refining and chemicals margins, partly offset by a decrease in production royalties resulting from lower crude oil prices and a decrease in the royalty rate from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, lower income taxes and zakat as a result of lower earnings, and higher other income related to sales for gas products.”

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Sales and revenue in the period - which saw oil prices collapse on “Black Monday” in April - fell 57 per cent to $32.861 bn from the comparable period last year. 

Nasser said he was cautiously optimistic that the world economy was slowly recovering from the depths of the pandemic lockdowns.

“We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies. Meanwhile, we continue to place people’s safety first and have adapted to the new normal, implementing wide-ranging precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 wherever we operate.

“We are determined to emerge from the pandemic stronger and will continue making progress on our long-term strategic journey, through ongoing investments in our business – which has one of the lowest upstream carbon footprints in the world,” he added.

Aramco expects capital expenditure to be at the lower end of the $25bn to $30bn range it has already indicated for this year.