Dubai-listed United Foods Company is considering non-organic growth through acquisitions in the local food market and expects 2020 financials to be almost at par with the last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, said its chief executive.
Fethi Khiari said there has been an impact of Covid-19 but decline in sales to cafeterias and restaurants have been compensated by increase in sales through hypermarkets.
However, the group is facing challenges in exports to regional countries such as Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
"We are working on acquisitions and are in negotiations with a few firms in the local food industry. We also expect our financials to be three per cent lower or higher as compared to last year. We are expanding in distribution segment," Khiari said on the sidelines of an agreement signing ceremony to install new large-scale solar power panels at its Jebel Ali facility.
The company posted Dh28.7 million profit in 2019 as compared to Dh18.7 million in the previous year.
The solar power contract was awarded to Yellow Door Energy. The plant, which will cover the entire area of the factory's roof in Jebel Ali, will include over 4,400 solar panels, and will provide almost half of the factory's energy consumption needs.
Khiari said the 2,000 kilowatt-peak rooftop solar plant will generate 3.3 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy in its first year of operation. The company expects to save Dh1 million a year from the environment-friendly source of energy.
Rory McCarthy, chief commercial officer of Yellow Door Energy, encouraged businesses in the UAE to consider solar as a viable option to reduce electricity costs and switch to clean energy. Yellow Door Energy also contributes to Dewa's Shams Dubai Programme and the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.
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