L’azurde CEO expects to overcome inflation headwind with new affordable jewelry line

Exclusive L’azurde CEO expects to overcome inflation headwind with new affordable jewelry line
The growth in net profit was primarily caused by an increase in sales and revenue for the quarter of 11 percent to stand at SR614.5 million. (Supplied)
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Updated 24 May 2022

L’azurde CEO expects to overcome inflation headwind with new affordable jewelry line

L’azurde CEO expects to overcome inflation headwind with new affordable jewelry line
  • Saudi jeweler L’azurde posts $4m profits in Q1 on strong sales

DUBAI: L’azurde Co. for Jewelry, which is known for its expensive items, is expecting the new affordable jewelry line to support sales this year as the company is looking into more innovative ways to stay ahead of the curve, according to its CEO.

The year 2022 started strong for the jewelry maker but the company is confronted with rising inflation and high material cost including gold on the back of the global geopolitical situation, Sélim Chidiac, CEO of the Saudi-listed L’azurde said in an exclusive interview with Arab News.

Chidiac pointed out that rising inflation along with robust gold prices has left the jewelry industry facing headwinds. He also detailed some of the measures taken by his company to combat high prices and stabilize customer footfall, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the first time ever, we launched affordable gold jewelry at SR1,000 ($266). And we saw a great demand for this gold jewelry,” he said. This was reflected in the company’s performance in the following year.

“We see very high inflation in the Western world,” Chidiac told Arab News on the sidelines of the Top CEO Forum in Dubai. “The currencies in this part of the world (the Gulf) are pegged to the dollar. Central banks here will have to raise interest rates. How will inflation in the West impact our part of the world? We don’t know yet. So, there is this risk.”

In early Sunday trading, the stock price of the company was up 4.94 percent at SR17.04, ranking second among gainers after posting strong quarterly earnings.

Shares retreated a day later by 1.9 percent to trade at SR16.64 as of 2:19 p.m. Saudi time on Monday.

Q1 strong results

Saudi Lazurde Co. for Jewelry reported a 34 percent boost in net profit on the back of higher sales and revenues.

The jewelry producer, which is listed on the main index, generated a profit of SR13.7 million in the first quarter, up from SR10.2 million in the same period last year, it said in a bourse filing on Sunday.

The growth in net profit was primarily caused by an increase in sales and revenue for the quarter of 11 percent to stand at SR614.5 million.

The company also attributed the increase in profits to higher gross profits and lower financing costs.

2021 performance

Chidiac went on to speak about the “very strong” financial results for 2021, where the company achieved its lowest-ever working capital.

The jewelry producer made profits amounting to SR22 million last year as it recovered from a net loss of SR120 million a year earlier. Sales surged 54 percent to SR1.97 billion.

He added: “We’re investing in technology like 3D printing more than ever before, as automation helps reduce costs. The burden of inflation cannot be passed on to consumers. Consumers are now extremely sophisticated, with 80 percent of them doing research online before shopping in stores.”

Chidiac also pointed out that the pandemic helped his company to overcome supply chain challenges as the business began manufacturing some materials locally rather than importing them from China and Europe.

“Let’s do the maximum amount of manufacturing in local markets here. This is a major competitive advantage for us. So, for the rest of the year, we are cautiously optimistic. We have to work hard to continue delivering the results we have been delivering on a regular basis, from the first quarter of 2021 to today,” added Chidiac.


Nearly 60% of Saudi, UAE businesses lack ESG framework, survey shows

Nearly 60% of Saudi, UAE businesses lack ESG framework, survey shows
Updated 16 sec ago

Nearly 60% of Saudi, UAE businesses lack ESG framework, survey shows

Nearly 60% of Saudi, UAE businesses lack ESG framework, survey shows

RIYADH: Nearly 60 percent of businesses in Saudi Arabia and the UAE do not have an environmental, social and governance framework, a survey by ASDA’A BCW’s unit showed. 

Conducted by PSB Middle East, the survey also revealed that around half of those who have an ESG framework, are not sure their employees fully understand it. 

The survey marked the launch of OnePoint5, its new ESG advisory dedicated to the Middle East and North Africa region.

Out of the 200 respondents interviewed, 41 percent said their business already had an ESG framework in place, while 33 percent said they were developing one, while 26 percent admitted their company had no ESG policy. 

Around 52 percent of the respondents said their company had introduced an ESG framework and they did not fully understand it, which shows the need for raising awareness of the benefits of ESG standards. 

The research indicated that the Middle East’s business community had work to do to meet the high expectations of their governments on sustainability, Sunil John, president MENA of BCW, said. 

 


Saudi Arabia’s Retal signs $91m deal with PIF-backed Roshn to purchase plots in SEDRA

Saudi Arabia’s Retal signs $91m deal with PIF-backed Roshn to purchase plots in SEDRA
Updated 30 June 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Retal signs $91m deal with PIF-backed Roshn to purchase plots in SEDRA

Saudi Arabia’s Retal signs $91m deal with PIF-backed Roshn to purchase plots in SEDRA

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Retal Urban Development has signed a SR339 million ($90.5 million) deal with the Public Investment Fund-backed Roshn Real Estate to buy 372 plots within its integrated community SEDRA in Riyadh.

Saudi-listed Roshn said it plans to develop the land according to its guidelines for SEDRA, according to MEED. 

Located in the north of Riyadh, the project was launched last August by Roshn, with a plan to include 30,000 homes across eight phases. 

The agreement is expected to directly impact Retal’s financials between 2022 and 2024.


Saudi authority approves Tibbiyah’s 51% acquisition of UAE health company 

Saudi authority approves Tibbiyah’s 51% acquisition of UAE health company 
Updated 30 June 2022

Saudi authority approves Tibbiyah’s 51% acquisition of UAE health company 

Saudi authority approves Tibbiyah’s 51% acquisition of UAE health company 

RIYADH: Saudi-based Arabian International Healthcare Holding Co., known as Tibbiyah, has got the General Authority for Competition’s approval to acquire a 51 percent stake in UAE’s Innovative Healthcare Co.

Operating as a holding company, Tibbiyah, through its subsidiaries, offers medical systems, healthcare equipment, and medical supplies in the Kingdom. 

The authority also approved Growth Avenue Investment Co.’s acquisition of a 40 percent stake in Saudi Medical System.

Since the beginning of 2021, the authority has approved 101 acquisitions. 


Egypt In-Focus: Egypt to buy 815,000 tons of wheat; power interconnection project with KSA underway

Egypt In-Focus: Egypt to buy 815,000 tons of wheat; power interconnection project with KSA underway
Updated 30 June 2022

Egypt In-Focus: Egypt to buy 815,000 tons of wheat; power interconnection project with KSA underway

Egypt In-Focus: Egypt to buy 815,000 tons of wheat; power interconnection project with KSA underway

CAIRO: Egypt has contracted to buy the largest quantity of wheat in a tender in at least a decade, as it takes advantage of the recent price drop. Additionally, the World Bank has agreed to provide the North African country $500 million in development funds to boost food security.
Egypt has contracted to buy the largest quantity of wheat in a tender in at least a decade, as it takes advantage of the recent price drop, Bloomberg reported. 

The country’s General Authority for Supply Commodities bought 815,000 tons to bolster stockpiles as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted global supplies.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the order is considered the largest single purchase since at least 2012. 

Food security

The World Bank has agreed to provide Egypt with $500 million in development funds to boost food security.

Egypt-Saudi electrical interconnection

The minister of electricity and renewable energy has said work is currently in progress on the electrical interconnection project with Saudi Arabia to exchange 3,000 MW at a cost of $1.8 billion. 

Mohamed Shaker told Daily News Egypt that the project is set to be operational by 2026.


Saudi low-cost airline flyadeal launches 5 new summer destinations for 2022

Saudi low-cost airline flyadeal launches 5 new summer destinations for 2022
Updated 30 June 2022

Saudi low-cost airline flyadeal launches 5 new summer destinations for 2022

Saudi low-cost airline flyadeal launches 5 new summer destinations for 2022

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s low-cost airline flyadeal has launched new summer destinations for 2022.

The news destinations include Amman in Jordan, Tbilisi in Georgia, Baku in Azerbaijan, Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt and Khartoum in Sudan. 

The budget airline’s network currently includes 24 domestic and international routes. 

The company operates a new fleet of 24 Airbus 320 aircraft with an age of only 2.1 years, CEO Con Korfiatis said. 

He added the airline approached 15 million passengers in a period of less than 5 years, which is an unprecedented number for an emerging airline.