UPDATE 1-Saudi's Almarai Q2 net profit up 8.7 pct
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JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, July 7 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian dairy and food producer Almarai Co posted on Saturday an 8.7 percent year-on-year rise in its second quarter net profit.
The Gulf's largest dairy firm made 379.5 million riyals ($101.2 million) in the three months ending June 30, compared with 349.3 million riyals in the same period a year earlier, it said.
Almarai said the rise in second-quarter net profit was due to increased sales in all sectors as well as fully consolidating International Dairy & Juice Ltd, in which Almarai now holds a majority stake. "Sales have increased by 164.6 million riyals as a result of this first time consolidation," it said.
Operational profit for the second quarter increased by 7 percent to 434.6 million riyals compared with 405.8 million riyals in the same period a year earlier.
Almarai raised 1 billion riyals through its first sukuk, or Islamic bond, in March, which it said was 4.7 times oversubscribed.
In May the dairy firm's board approved a 15.7 billion riyal, five-year investment plan, that will draw on finance from bank loans and Islamic bonds.
The money will replace the company's existing investments base and fund expansion between 2013 to 1017 of its operations in farming, manufacturing, distributio nand logistics, it said.
Almarai has been keen to expand its footprint outside its core presence in the Gulf region. In December it acquired Fondomonte S.A., which owns and operates firms in Argentina, to secure feed for its dairy herd and poultry business.
(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Andrew Hammond)
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