(Adds details, background)
* Q3 net profit rises 4.7 pct to 450 mln riyals
* Revenue gains 27 pct to 2.7 bln riyals
* Almarai has been expanding overseas
DUBAI, Oct 8 - Saudi Arabian dairy and food producer Almarai
Co posted a 4.7-percent rise in quarterly net profit
on Monday but fell short of analysts' forecasts as higher
commodity prices and expansion costs ate into earnings.
Saudi Arabia's biggest listed food company by market value
said third-quarter earnings were 450 million riyals ($120.00
million) for the period ended Sept. 30, compared with 429.7
million riyals a year-ago.
Nine analysts forecast average profit of 469 million riyals
in the quarter, according to a Reuters poll.
Revenue for the quarter rose 27 percent to 2.7 billion
riyals from 2.1 billion riyals a year-ago, helped by strong
performance at its bakery and poultry unit, Almarai said in a
"High material costs resulting from on-going erratic
commodity prices, and also persistent increase in overhead costs
due to the expansion in new projects" hurt profitability,
Almarai's board approved a $4.2-billion five-year investment
plan in May to boost product innovation and develop its Saudi
Almarai has been keen to expand outside its core Gulf
region. In December, the company acquired Fondomonte S.A, which
owns and operates farms in Argentina, to secure feed for its
dairy herd and poultry businesses.
The company also raised 1 billion riyals through its first
Islamic bond in March, which it said was 4.7 times
Its shares have risen 22 percent year-to-date on the Saudi
bourse. The diary firm is a favourite among fund managers as it
adds diversity to portfolios heavy with banking and real estate
($1 = 3.7501 Saudi riyals)
(Reporting by Dinesh Nair; Editing by Amran Abocar)