Masafi Sees Bright Future

DUBAI - Masafi’s Juice line has posted a 37 per cent growth for 2009 first quarter compared to the same period in the previous year, making it the fastest growing brand in the UAE 
Swupermarket Channel.

By Aneela Batool

Published: Fri 17 Apr 2009, 12:01 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:37 AM

Masafi CEO Ashraf Abushady, spoke to Khaleej Times about his company’s strong brand equity and how it is facing the challenges of the global financial crisis. Below are the excerpts from the interview

What are your growth expectations for 2009?

We had set double-digit growth targets across the portfolio for the current year and heading towards achieving those. Our first quarter results are in line with our expectations. We see 2009 as a very challenging year.

Masafi achieved 36 per cent rise in its net profit for 2008 compared to the previous year. The company registered a net revenue of Dh378 million during the year, recording an impressive growth of 35 per cent over 2007.

Overall, we are pleased with our performance — but as the old saying goes — ‘continued success only comes to those that are never satisfied’ — and we are not.

How are you dealing with the current financial crisis?

The ongoing financial turmoil is a very challenging time for businesses across the globe. Many sectors have felt the impact in varying degrees, depending on their offerings. Since Masafi boasts a very strong brand equity and offers items that are more or less in the essential category, we are positive about meeting out targets for this year.

Our offerings in the snacks category too have seen favourable results despite being in the hyper-premium segment. Overall, the buzzword, as of now, is ‘cautious optimism.’ Cautious — because of the global downturn; and optimism in view of the region’s strong fundamentals. We would rather say that across sectors, it’s a wait-and-watch strategy.

We have not ignored worst-case scenarios in our strategy that would determine our ability to adapt, and are realistic about the path ahead.

Which of your products generate the most sales?

Currently, we make 60 per cent of our revenue in our core category of mineral water. However, we are delighted by the consumer reception that we have received on our new segments including, potato chips, new 1juice blends, and the recently launched scented tissue ‘Sense of Spring’.

How much exports you have targeted this year?

The company now exports 30 per cent of its bottled water products to different countries in GCC, MENA, Europe, South Asia and South East Asia. We aim to build on our exports to newer markets.

Does the global financial crisis cause any decrease in domestic and international demand?

No. So far we are happy to report that we have not registered a decline — neither on the domestic nor the international markets.

Where do you see Masafi five years down the lane?

Masafi aims to consolidate its market leadership through its new product offerings, sales efforts and innovative communication campaigns. We are constantly evaluating product segments and markets.

Currently, we are running Masafi Treasure Quest Consumer Promotion, which offers customers a chance to win a whopping Dh1.5 million in prizes.

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