Saudi Arabia`s Almarai, the Gulf`s largest dairy company, reported a flat third-quarter net profit on Sunday, and warned it remained cautious on the year due to adverse market conditions.
Almarai made a profit of 667 million riyals ($178 million) in the three months to Sept. 20, compared to a revised quarterly profit of 664.3 million riyals in the year-earlier period, according to a bourse statement.
Four analysts polled by Reuters had forecast on average that Almarai would make 620.75 million riyals.
Revenue was down 4.5 percent to 3.37 billion riyals from the same period a year earlier.
Almarai said tough market conditions continued into the third quarter and that its end of year outlook remains cautious, citing reasons such as higher operating costs, devaluation of the Egyptian pound and lower exports.
Almarai has lost access to the Qatari market since June after Saudi Arabia severed trade and travel links with its neighbour in the Gulf`s most severe diplomatic split in years.
Almarai said on Oct. 15 that Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia`s top sovereign wealth fund, had increased its share capital in the company to 16.32 percent.
($1 = 3.7502 riyals)