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UAE food giant Agthia appoints new CEO

THE LEVANT – One of the UAE’s biggest food and beverage groups has announced the appointment of a new CEO.

Agthia Group named Iqbal Hamzah as CEO, effective immediately, having previously held the position of Group chief financial officer and company secretary. Since May, he has also been acting CEO.

Dhafer Ayed Al Ahbabi, chairman of Agthia Group, said: “Hamzah has a deep and unparalleled understanding of the Agthia business, having spent over eight years in our senior management team.

“His experience and knowledge of the business was a critical factor in the Board’s decision to formalise his appointment as our new CEO, to guide us through the next stage of our expansion programme.”

Prior to joining Agthia, Hamzah, a Pakistani national, spent four years as the regional finance director of Gillette/P&G for Russia, Republics & Baltics, based in Moscow.

Agthia said it is seeing significant growth in its portfolio of brands, and earlier this year launched Monster beverage products in the UAE.

It has also recently commissioned a new high-speed bottling line and a new distribution centre.

The commercial launch of the frozen baked products is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year, as is also the expansion of the UAE distribution of Alpin natural spring bottled water.

In May, Agthia posted a 32 percent increase in net profit the first quarter of 2014 compared to the year-earlier period.

Agthia Group said its Q1 net sales rose by eight percent to AED390.1 million ($106 million), driving net profit to AED49 million.

The company said that the results were driven primarily by higher net sales and an overall improvement in margins.

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