Muscat: Retail giant Majid Al Futtaim posted an eight per cent growth in group revenue in 2018, the company's preliminary and unaudited operational and financial results have shown.
Highlighting the success of the company last year, Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim, said, “2018 has been a year of growth for our company, despite the macroeconomic challenges that affected consumer sentiments. Our strategy to diversify our offerings and geographical presence, as well as our commitment to customer centricity and technology investments have yielded great results.”
The Group's revenue in 2018 rose to over OMR3 billion (AED34.6 billion).
Additionally, the company earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) increased year-on-year by nine per cent, reaching more than OMR480 million (AED4.6 billion).
Bejjani said, “I’m humbled by the efforts of my fellow MAFers, who worked diligently to ensure the resilience of our business.”
An increase in footfall to its malls helped boost the company's performance.
"Our malls in the region welcomed 192 million visitors in 2018, which is a four per cent increase," said the CEO.
Reflecting on the past year, he said, " The year 2018 was a challenging year, we had a lot of macro-economic headway. We are very proud that we have been able to maintain our topline growth, as well as our bottom line growth, so we did not sacrifice profitability for revenue growth, which was very important. And this is testimony to the resilience of our business and to the soundness of our economic model that is diversified both in terms of business, as well as in terms of geography."
And looking ahead, Bejjani is also hopeful for 2019. With regard to a number of global economic situations that could impact markets, ranging from the US-China trade war to Brexit, he said, "So far, everyone agrees that there is no downturn on the horizon but hopes that the volatility that we are witnessing today will be contained in 2019."
Last year, the company continued its investment strategy of enhancing digital experiences and the physical footprint. Majid Al Futtaim celebrated the opening of two new shopping malls in the UAE and Oman, grew its hotel portfolio to 13 assets and added 33 grocery retail stores, growing its portfolio to 264.
The company's efforts with regard to sustainability have not gone unnoticed, with Majid Al Futtaim receiving the "Green Star" Rating by Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmarks for the fifth consecutive year. The company scored 84 per cent by the organisation, seven per cent higher than the global benchmark average and making Majid Al Futtaim the 6th best performing non-listed company in the retail sector across Asia.