IFS appoints Sophie Graham as Chief Sustainability Officer

IFS, the global cloud enterprise software company, today announced that it has appointed Sophie Graham as Chief Sustainability Officer. The role reflects IFS’s continued commitment to its sustainability strategy and ambition to accelerate the delivery of its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda.Sustainability is rapidly becoming a C-level and Board-level priority, in part driven by new regulations like the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and as well as by global agreements by heads of state. CSRD comes into effect in 2024 and will impact all companies listed on EU-regulated markets. For IFS, elevating sustainability includes maintaining strong performance internally, while embedding different sustainability capabilities in IFS Cloud. In her role as IFS Chief Sustainability Officer, Graham will oversee the successful delivery of IFS’s own strategy, working with the Executive Leadership Team to scale at pace across its global operations. Since 2021, Graham has spearheaded Sustainability and ESG at IFS, defining and implementing a successful multi-year strategy and has rapidly become a fervent IFS spokesperson and a thought leader often called upon by the media.IFS CEO Mark Moffat commented: “IFS is at an incredibly important juncture on ESG and, much like our customers, we are focused on accelerating the results that will have the impact we all look for. Sophie’s appointment is evidence of the strategic prioritization of sustainability at IFS, and our goal is to work hand in hand with our customers, sharing our knowledge, experiences and taking their input into our products. Moffat continued: “Through technology we can help transform and improve entire industries and positively affect people’s lives. In 2021, we started building capabilities that matter to our customers and where we knew they would deliver the most value to them. Moffat concluded: I am looking forward to continuing working with Sophie in her new role as we ramp up both our own efforts and our support in helping customers meeting their own goals.”Sophie Graham, Chief Sustainability Officer, IFS, commented: “I am a true believer in the potential that the technology sector has to drive change across different industries, providing the ‘how’ roadmap in the transition to a low carbon, more sustainable future. IFS has a clear sense of purpose, and I am very excited to continue building on the robust strategy we already have in place to drive even more lasting impact, across our team, customers, and partners.”With a background in environmental law, Graham has worked across EMEIA, Americas and the UK in the technology and finance sectors. Prior to IFS, Sophie led sustainability reporting at Santander UK, including investor ESG engagement. She also worked in the US, establishing an international charity partnership with the Red Cross, and heading up an ESG strategy across 7 countries in the Americas.IFS also shares that Stephen Keys, previously Chief Talent & Sustainability Officer, takes on a new strategic leadership role focused on our critical talent agenda as Chief Talent Officer, in addition to his role as Chair of the IFS Foundation. Stephen has been instrumental in pioneering IFS's approach to sustainability within the organization and will continue to drive adoption of sustainability practices in his new role.IFS is resolutely committed to sustainability, with a strategy based around three pillars of operational excellence, supporting customers and wider community impact. Transparency is key to building trust and ESG disclosures include the IFS Sustainability report produced annually alongside an ESG Fact Sheet.

Commercial Bank of Dubai and Arabian Gulf Mechanical Centre L.L.C join forces

Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), a prominent United Arab Emirates (UAE) national bank, is pleased to announce its strategic collaboration with Arabian Gulf Mechanical Centre L.L.C (AGMC), the official BMW Group importer for Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, to establish Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at designated branches across Dubai. CBD is continuously working to find solutions that contribute towards its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.Electric vehicle owners often encounter the challenge of limited charging infrastructure, which inhibits their mobility and leads to range anxiety. The CBD AGMC partnership directly alleviates this concern, making CBD branches now a convenient option for them.Othman Ibrahim Bin Hendi, Chief Sustainability and Customer Officer at CBD, expressed his enthusiasm for this initiative. “As the bank that is backing the nation's ambition, we are proud to offer electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for use by our customers during their visit to the bank. This initiative reflects CBD’s commitment in providing sustainable solutions that contribute to reducing emissions and aligns with the UAE’s efforts to achieve net zero by 2050.”Bin Hendi further emphasized, “CBD recognises that the global focus on sustainability is increasingly growing. Hosting COP28 this year demonstrates the UAE’s dedication to addressing environmental challenges and finding solutions for a greener and brighter future. As the world transitions to sustainable mobility, we appreciate AGMC's support in shaping an environmentally conscious transportation future for the UAE.”Ayhan Olcer, Managing Director of Albatha Automotive Group LLC, said, “At AGMC, our commitment to sustainable mobility is integral to our ethos. Our strategic partnership with Commercial Bank of Dubai reflects our dedication to fostering an environmentally friendly transportation ecosystem and facilitating the transition to sustainable mobility solutions.By expanding the EV charging infrastructure, we aim to address the crucial challenge of accessibility faced by EV owners, contribute towards the UAE’s sustainability goals, and advance BMW’s own net-zero commitments by making the global shift towards greener transportation alternatives.”CBD has committed to supporting impactful and purpose-driven changes since establishing its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. Recent sustainability achievements at the bank include the issuance of its inaugural USD 500m Green Bond in June 2023, and the signing of the UAE Climate-Responsible Companies Pledge with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) in October 2023.

IFFCO Group partners with Tetra Pak

DUBAI, UAE: IFFCO Group, as part of its ESG-based strategic plans in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has signed an MoU with Tetra Pak, the world's leading food processing and packaging solutions company, designed to drive the momentum of sustainability initiatives within the group’s manufacturing facilities.This groundbreaking collaboration between IFFCO, the UAE-based multinational FMCG group, and the renowned multinational entrepreneurial organization, Tetra Pak, cements a strategic alliance that supports the implementation of global standards in state-of-the-art practices and technologies aimed at minimizing the group’s environmental impact.IFFCO is expanding its operations in the Kingdom by building a state-of-the-art factory equipped with the latest technology in order to locally produce sustainable, high quality and delicious products while adding value to the Saudi Arabian economy and contributing to reducing waste, lowering emissions and prioritising green industry protocols. The factory will initially focus on producing culinary creams, and has formalized the MoU with Tetra Pak to maximize efficiency without compromising on quality or food safety.Rizwan Ahmed, the Executive Director of IFFCO Group, explained that the KSA facility comes as a natural follow up to the group’s embedded ESG ethos, which is the principle driving force behind the group’s journey towards sustainability, saying: “IFFCO has since the very beginning, committed to a mission to manufacturing and marketing a well-integrated portfolio of FMCG food products that satisfy taste, quality and consumer demand without undermining our ethical values and commitments to eco-awareness throughout all processes and practices.“By working with the global expert Tetra Pak, we are actively contributing to ensuring sustainability at the plant, enhancing reliability, package recyclability, energy efficiency, and waste reduction, employing local skilled personnel and underpinning the country's economic growth and future ambitions while strengthening IFFCO’s standing in the region as an advocate for change, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and lowering our carbon footprint.”Niels Hougaard, Managing Director at Tetra Pak Arabia Area said: "We are thrilled to partner with IFFCO in this impactful project in Saudi Arabia, reflecting our commitment to protecting people, food, and the planet. Together, we introduce advanced equipment and processes that reduce waste, enhance recyclability, and lower CO2 emissions. Our innovation prioritizes water efficiency, recycling and reusing processed water, with state-of-the-art and energy-efficient equipment. Every package tells a story, and we eagerly support IFFCO's leading role in the GCC.”IFFCO has implemented a robust range of sustainability targeting measures that are based on a holistic approach to reducing the group’s environmental footprint. The group also establishes partnerships with local suppliers and third-party entities, encouraging them to also adopt sustainable practices.IFFCO group has recently released its Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) report, which outlines its commitment to sustainability goals, and puts sustainable practices in place across its operations and value chains, an important step in adopting changes to the food system that are genuinely sustainable, through an agenda of “Investing in the Future” to help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing endeavours to work towards net zero targets, decreasing waste generation, using packaging with a lower environmental impact, and addressing water scarcity.

Crestbridge Bahrain announces strategic rebrand to Yasira

Crestbridge Bahrain, an agile private equity and real estate administration solutions provider, has completed an extensive rebranding effort in response to the accelerated company growth and renewal of its corporate vision. At the heart of this transformation is a change of the company name to Yasira - inline with the firm's unwavering commitment to the region and heritage; the rebranding reflects a strategic initiative to better serve the distinctive needs of their clients in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the broader Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The company's new name 'Yasira' draws inspiration from the mountainous and challenging terrain of the Asir region in Saudi Arabia, and the firm's deep commitment to overcome complexity by providing administrative solutions that maximise operational efficiency and enhance financial performance.Positioned as a 'partner in efficiency', Yasira's expertise spans fund and trust administration, corporate solutions, ESG advisory and advanced data analytics and reporting services for fund and asset managers, family offices, sovereign wealth funds, and banking institutions in the Middle East."This milestone rebranding initiative ushers in a new era of bespoke administrative solutions that maximise operational efficiency and enhance financial performance for our clients in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and across the broader GCC. Our new name Yasira, reflects our profound commitment to the region, priming us to proficiently navigate the complexities of financial administration on behalf of our clients," comments Paul Perris, the CEO of Yasira.Headquartered in Bahrain Financial Harbour in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Yasira administers funds and structures totalling more than US$7 billion in assets. Led by a strong management team of seasoned international specialists equipped with extensive regional experience and state-of-the-art fund administration technology, the firm is well positioned to meet the ever-evolving requirements within the region and better serve its long standing clients.

Two-thirds of UAE tech leaders attribute increased business profitability to AI

The UAE is taking a proactive stance in the world of technology, leading the way in adopting innovative technologies. An impressive 89% of technology leaders in the UAE are confident that their current technology can effectively fuel business growth and enhance organizational development. This level of confidence surpasses that of their global counterparts by a significant 16%, as highlighted in the recently released KPMG UAE Tech report for 2023, titled "Tech Trailblazers: Navigating the Next Digital Frontier."The KPMG report emphasizes the UAE's dedication to using technology to reach ambitious business objectives, tackle challenges, and promote Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) priorities. Notably, 87% of tech leaders in the UAE are confident in their current technology's ability to advance the organization's ESG agenda, surpassing the global average by 15%. Additionally, a substantial 86% of UAE tech leaders believe that their organization's technology is simultaneously enhancing employee satisfaction, well-being, efficiency, and cost reduction.Mohamad Majid, Partner, Digital and Innovation at KPMG Lower Gulf said: “The UAE’s digital transformation leaders are committed to their innovation priorities and realizing value at pace, despite the headwinds of global economic uncertainty. This year’s KPMG UAE Tech Report provides insights into how the nation’s tech leaders are forging a path of innovation and technology-driven growth, setting a global example for strategic AI adoption, prioritizing ESG and cybersecurity, and advancing business technology.”The UAE's strategic focus on AI and machine learning (ML) and commitment to transformative technologies is shared by CTOs. Based on the KPMG study, a significant 53% of tech leaders in the UAE recognize AI as a key driver for fulfilling their short-term objectives. The study also highlights other technology preferences of respondents for achieving these short-term goals, with edge computing (43%) and quantum computing (41%) emerging as highly valuable options. Interestingly, the Metaverse, although at 29%, still showcases potential, suggesting that it's an evolving concept rather than an immediate competitor to innovative technologies.Remarkably, 43% of tech leaders attribute their belief in AI's potential to its demonstrated return on investment (ROI). In fact, two-thirds of CTOs attribute significant increases in profitability to AI initiatives.84% of UAE tech leaders believe that the benefits of XaaS technologies are worth the risks. This puts them 21% ahead of tech leaders around the world. XaaS, or "Everything as a Service," means getting various resources and services over the internet through subscriptions. It includes things like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and more. XaaS helps businesses adapt quickly to changing needs, save money, and stay up to date with regular updates and improvements.The report has also found that in the UAE, information security is a key driver of digital transformation due to regulatory requirements and rising cybersecurity concerns. More than half (56%) of tech leaders emphasize the importance of meeting customer demands for enhanced data privacy and cybersecurity in shaping their strategies.However, 47% of tech leaders in the UAE identify underdeveloped data management strategies as a hurdle to transformation (compared to the global average of 34%). Furthermore, 43% of respondents highlight the limitations of legacy technology, highlighting the necessity of innovative strategies that directly address these challenges.Tomorrow’s tech leaders envision digital evolution holistically, cultivating innovation across all industries. As the UAE sets out to achieve its centennial 2071 ambitions, technology breakthroughs can reshape the future of education, healthcare, tourism, manufacturing, and ESG.

Accredify from Singapore beats 260 startups to win the 2023 Supernova Challenge

Accredify, a Singapore-based startup and service provider for issuing verifiable documents and information, has emerged as the champion of the 2023 Supernova Challenge at Expand North Star Dubai, the world's largest startup event. The startup received the $100,000 grand prize after an intense final round of pitching against 27 global finalists from 521 entries.The Supernova Challenge in partnership with the Dubai Future District Fund, is the region's biggest startup pitch competition, offering $200,000 in total cash prizes. The challenge is a key feature of Expand North Star Dubai, which hosted its biggest edition this year. It attracted over 1800+ startups from over 100 countries to explore the emerging opportunities in Dubai's dynamic, diverse and tech-driven digital economy.Simon Gordon, Chief Commercial Officer of the winning team, said, "Supernova 2023 has been an incredible experience. It's surreal to win this challenge at Expand North Star. This region, particularly the UAE, has so many great opportunities, and we are excited about using this prize money to expand our presence here."One of the judges at Supernova, Sharif El-Badawi, CEO of Dubai Future District Fund, commented, "It is encouraging to see a shift towards sustainable solutions that are better for the planet and its people. We witnessed several startups delivering concise yet compelling pitches that could impact our lives. The pitches we witnessed here at the Supernova Challenge are brimming with promise, unique innovations, and inspiring ideas."An expertly curated list of categories covered the latest trends in tech, inviting startups to showcase innovations that can solve some of our most pressing challenges. These included AI Disruptor, Fintech & Ecommerce Disruptor, Blockchain & Web3 Disruptor, Mobility & Smart Cities Disruptor, Healthtech & Wellness Disruptor, Martech Disruptor, Insurtech Disruptor in partnership with MENA Insuretech, Female Founder Award in partnership with the Sharjah Businesswomen Council, Africa Fast Award presented by GITEX Africa, Asia Fast Award, India Fast Award, and the Top MENA Award. In collaboration with GITEX Impact and Future Urbanism, Expand North Star also awarded the most proficient Sustainability and ESG Disruptor.Thirteen category winners representing the USA, India, UAE, South Korea, France, UK, Nigeria, Switzerland, China and Bangladesh took home $8,000 each in prize money, while the winner of the Female Founder Award won $10,000.The Supernova Challenge category winners were:Sustainability and ESG Disruptor: Zenerate from the USA, a platform providing AI-powered feasibility solutions for real estate development.AI Disruptor: Knorish, a platform that enables hobbyists, professionals and niche experts to build, launch, market and sell online courses powered by their own knowledge and as an extension of their own brand.Fintech and E-commerce Disruptor: Appro Technologies from the UAE, a digital platform simplifying retail banking onboarding.Blockchain and Web3 Disruptor: Verofax from the UAE, a platform enabling real-time consumption data by offering a unique microsite per product.Mobility and Smart Cities Disruptor: Innocel from France, a company providing clean energy solutions for a net zero future.Healthtech and Wellness Disruptor: Skia from Korea, a digital surgery guide solution using augmented reality (AR) technology.Martech Disruptor: Smartzer from the UK is a SaaS platform brands use to make live streams and videos interactive and shoppable to drive sales.Female Founder Award: Matis from Switzerland, a platform empowering art market stakeholders with accessible and quantifiable tools for art authentication.Africa Fast Award: Gifty from Nigeria, an app that helps people easily share gift lists with family and friends and avoid duplicating purchases.Asia Fast Award: Urtopia from China, a company dedicated to revolutionizing urban transportation with its smart, sleek, and stealthy e-bikes.India Fast Award: EyeROV from India, a marine robotics company providing underwater ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) to various industries.Insurtech Disruptor: InsureCow from Bangladesh, a platform offering a 360° technology-powered cattle insurance and wellbeing monitoring solution.Top MENA Award: from the UAE is the world's first restaurant operating system that helps restaurants save 5% on the cost of every order served.The Supernova Challenge featured 40 startups selected from the Expand North Star global roadshow, a series of international pitch competitions held by the Dubai World Trade Centre and DCDE to attract startups to Dubai and foster collaborations with digital ecosystems in various countries.Expand North Star hosted by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy (DCDE) is the powerhouse startup show of GITEX Global, organized by the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) concluded this week marking its largest-ever edition at its new Dubai Harbour venue.

UAE businesses face growing demand for ESG action

Dubai: A landmark survey revealed the continued strength of community expectations for environmental, social and governance (ESG) action among UAE corporations. Globally, business leaders are warned that public expectations for authentic action on ESG issues remain high in the face of cost-of-living pressures, and inaction — combined with silence about their efforts — could cost them customers.The findings come as part of the third annual ESG Monitor, a 12-nation survey led by SEC Newgate*, the global strategic communications, advocacy and research group, with regional office in Dubai.Over 90% of UAE respondents agree that corporates must prioritise ESG issues, indicating a shift from a sole focus on economic contributions. The research shows that we may have reached a tipping point, suggesting that the need for genuine action by corporations to address the impacts they have on people and the planet is no longer up for debate.Some of the main UAE findings include:86% rate their interest in ESG issues as high at 7+ out of 10, up by 3% since last year;61% are aware of NetZero, a significant increase from just 56% in 2022;86% gave the national government a rating of 7+ out of 10 when it came to acting responsibly on ESG issues; however, ratings of small companies have declined significantly this year;The research shows that community opinions on ESG issues are translating into action and impacting behaviours. Compared to other countries, citizens in the UAE appear to place a higher importance on ESG issues in their day-to-day decision making. In particular, in the types of foods they eat (77% vs. 62% globally), the types of products they buy (76% vs. 62%), and how they choose to travel (74% vs. 55%).There is a stark difference by generation across all surveyed countries, with Millennials far more likely to factor ESG issues into their decisions. For example, when it comes to the type of investments they make, 57% of Millennials rate ESG issues 7+ out of 10 on importance, compared to 47% of Baby Boomers. When considering a job with a new employer, 58% of Millennials give ESG issues a 7+ importance rating compared to 39% of Baby Boomers.Speaking on the findings, Elena Gramatica, Managing Partner, SEC Newgate Middle East, said: “The third annual ESG Monitor highlights a shifting corporate landscape in the UAE. Traditionally, businesses were mainly seen as contributors to the economy, but now, our community demands they balance financial success with ESG responsibilities. People expect action on ESG issues and a voice on matters vital to employees and customers. To respond to the community, companies must proactively address their environmental impact and support others throughout their operations, from customers and employees to supply chains.”Last year's survey identified a 'Great Disconnect' in ESG communications, and the 2023 survey shows that this disconnect still persists, particularly in the UAE. The community wants clearer communication of ESG efforts from companies, but trust in this messaging remains a challenge in the region.Fiorenzo Tagliabue, Group CEO of SEC Newgate, commented: “Overall, it is clear from our research that consumer expectations have changed and the global community now expects organisations to think about their impacts on the planet and people from the outset.“Employers will also have to respond to generational and national differences when communicating around the ESG issue. The good news is that community support for ESG agendas is continuing to grow, and there are now a multitude of organisations that companies can partner with to further their ESG credentials and communicate these initiatives in more impactful ways.”Additional global ESG Monitor research findings:67% rated their interest in ESG issues at 7 or more out of 10, up from 56% in 202277% agree it is important for companies to take action on ESG issues71% agree that companies should speak out on issues that are important to their employees and customersMillennials are more optimistic for their country’s future than Baby BoomersThe top three ‘most important’ issues across the globe, the research found that respondents were most concerned about:Addressing the rising cost of living (37% rated in top 3 issues)Ensuring quality, affordable healthcare for everyone (30%)Strengthening the economy (25%)*How the research was conductedParticipants were sourced from global panel provider PureProfile, with questionnaires translated and completed in-language in Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, Poland, Spain and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Fieldwork was conducted from late July to early August 2023.Quotas were set by age, gender and location to ensure a nationally representative sample of citizens aged 18+, and the final results were weighted by the actual age and gender proportions within each country or territory. For the ‘total’ results, each country is given equal weighting.The full research is available upon request.

Tanmiah reports robust revenue performance

Riyadh: Tanmiah Food Company (“Tanmiah” or the “Company”, 2281 on the Saudi Exchange), a market-leading provider of fresh and processed poultry and other meat products, animal feed and health products, and a foods brand franchise operator, today announced its results for the first quarter ending on 31 March 2023, reporting a significant improvement in net profit attributable to owners of the company, from SAR 1.5 million to SAR 21.0 million.As per the applicable accounting standards, the 1Q2022 financial figures have been adjusted to reflect the Tyson Foods transaction, whereby the further processed products business is now classified as discontinued operations.Revenues increased 42.2% year-on-year (“YoY”) to SAR 484.5 million, primarily driven by a 37.4% rise in fresh poultry sales. Gross margin substantially improved from 20.7% in 1Q2022 to 24.8%, while EBITDA of SAR 66.2 million (+164.8% YoY) yielded a margin of 13.7%.Zulfiqar Hamadani CEO of Tanmiah, commented:“Tanmiah reported healthy financial indicators during the first quarter of 2023, with an improvement in revenues, as we are witnessing a sustained increase in sales volumes across our core business segments. Fresh poultry continued to drive the growth in revenues, while our food franchise operations are proving to be a success story, with revenues more than quadrupling when compared to last year.Creating tangible value for our shareholders, customers, and broader stakeholder groups, is a top priority for us at Tanmiah, and we are delighted to be rolling out several strategic measures, that focus on growing our operations in a sustainable, profitable, and responsible manner. We continued to progress well in terms of achieving the objectives of our strategic partnership with Tyson Foods and are targeting to jointly invest in the expansion of the further processing capacity of SFPC to nearly 100,000 metric tons annually.As we remain agile and cater to our customers’ evolving needs and preferences, while enhancing the innovation and quality of our product offerings, we launched Tanmiah Life – a Halal and Saudi Made fresh poultry line with plant-based nutrition, enriched with Omega-3, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East.”Summary Financial HighlightsSAR million 1Q2023 1Q2022 % Change Revenue                                                     484.5                      340.6 42.2%Gross Profit (Loss)                                                    120.0                        70.4 70.3%EBITDA 66.2 25.0  164.8% Net Profit attributable to owners of the company                                                        21.0                          1.5 1,263.0% Ahmed Osilan, Managing Director of Tanmiah said:“Tanmiah Food Company achieved solid financial results during the first quarter, and in light of our focus on returning value to our shareholders, the Board of Directors recommended the distribution of cash dividends of SAR 3.5 per share for FY2022.In line with the efforts to accelerate growth further, His Excellency the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture launched new projects by Tanmiah, as part of the company’s strategic plan for 2030, during the ceremony held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh. Several MoUs were signed with each of Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC), and National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification (NCVC). Tanmiah is looking to launch the “10miah farmers initiative” with ADF and will work together with SIRC to recycle poultry waste and reduce carbon emissions, in addition to collaborating with NCVC. Furthermore, an MoU was signed between Tanmiah’s subsidiary, Desert Hills for Veterinary Services and MHP, Europe’s leading producer of poultry meat, to establish and operate a number of poultry breeding facilities across the Kingdom.We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all government entities for such significant initiatives, that are targeted towards contributing to Vision 2030’s objectives of attaining food security and self-sufficiency in the Kingdom.”Revenue AnalysisTanmiah reported revenues of SAR 484.5 million for 1Q2023, up 42.2% YoY from SAR 340.6 million in 1Q2022. This was essentially supported by a sustained improvement in sales volumes across all segments, particularly fresh poultry. Food franchise operations also achieved a remarkable enhancement in revenues from SAR 4.0 million to SAR 17.0 million.Fresh Poultry sales, the most significant contributor to Tanmiah’s revenues (83.8%), increased 37.4% YoY in 1Q2023 to SAR 406.0 million from SAR 295.4 million. The growth in revenues can be attributed to a continued rise in sales volumes as well as an increase in production capacity during the period, from 456,000 birds per day as at 31 December 2022, to 475,000 birds per day as at 31 March 2023.Animal Feed and Health revenues grew by 49.2% YoY to SAR 61.5 million from SAR 41.3 million, driven by increased demand for animal health products and equipment.Food franchise operator revenues significantly increased from SAR 4.0 to SAR 17.0 million in 1Q2023, marking the segment’s best performing quarter since the launch of the Company’s food franchise vertical in 2021. During the period, Tanmiah opened 6 POPEYES® stores in the Kingdom, bringing the total to 26 operational outlets as of 31 March 2023.Income Statement AnalysisCost of Sales increased 34.9% YoY to SAR 364.5 million in the first quarter, compared to SAR 270.2 million, due to the rise in sales volumes during 1Q2023. Gross profit increased significantly by 70.3% YoY to SAR 120.0 million, from SAR 70.4 million, in line with the continued rise in sales volumes and recovery in margins, as well as enhanced utilization of assets and operational efficiencies.EBITDA increased substantially from SAR 25.0 million in 1Q2022 to SAR 66.2 million, supported by the solid top-line performance, which has largely outpaced the 26.2% YoY rise in selling, general, and administrative expenses.Net Profit attributable to the owners of the company jumped from SAR 1.5 million to SAR 21.0 million in 1Q2023.Balance Sheet AnalysisTanmiah ended the period with a cash position of SAR 232.8 million, compared to SAR 267.1 million as of 31 December 2022.Total borrowings increased from SAR 308.4 million at the end of December 2022 to SAR 315.9 million.Capex increased from SAR 19.4 million in 1Q2022 to SAR 37.2 million in 1Q2023. Planned capital expenditure in the next few years will focus on ramping up feed milling and primary processing capacities, thus enabling the Company to seize new growth opportunities.Growth StrategyThrough leveraging its fully integrated and highly efficient business model and capitalizing on its extensive market expertise, Tanmiah is strongly positioned to unlock multiple growth avenues both domestically and overseas, in the rapidly expanding global Halal food market. With operational excellence at the core of everything it does, the Company will drive innovation across the entire value chain and continue to explore emerging opportunities for diversifying its product and service offerings, across new geographies. Tanmiah is putting in place wide-ranging strategic and well targeted investments, which are expected to pave the way for long-term and sustainable growth in the years to come, in line with its commitment to the Kingdom’s goals of ensuring food security and self-sufficiency.Operating within a conducive business environment, largely supported by transformative government policies and solid underlying economic fundamentals, Tanmiah is expected to witness an accelerated pace of growth in the future. According to the recently published data by General Authority for Statistics, the Kingdom’s GDP growth in 2022 has outpaced its G20 peers, at 8.7%, which marks the country’s highest annual growth rate in the last decade.Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has recently launched four special economic zones, namely, the King Abdullah Economic City SEZ, Jazan SEZ, Ras Al Khair SEZ and Cloud Computing SEZ, located in the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. The objective of these zones is to provide financial and non-financial incentives to companies, including competitive corporate tax rates, duty-free imports of machinery and raw materials, 100% foreign ownership, and streamlined business set-up procedures, to attract large-scale foreign investments into the Kingdom, on its way to becoming a global business hub.ESG CommitmentsTanmiah implements a strategic, and integrated approach to achieving environmental, economic, and social sustainability through its “Giving, Earning, and Sustaining model.” Commitment to sustainability is built on 3 key pillars: Sustaining People, Sustaining the Planet and Sustaining Agriculture.The Company established its ESG Committee in 2022, which has finalized the focus areas that are aligned to the economic and social goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 as well as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.The Committee is looking to adopt a suitable international ESG reporting framework over the course of the year, whose objective is to provide meaningful and measurable disclosures to investors and other stakeholders about Tanmiah’s ESG activities, in alignment with international reporting standards.

Over 60% of tech professionals believe in sustainability as crucial business

Dubai: As organizations worldwide focus on operationalizing their ESG plans, Cisco and IDC launched a new study, titled "The Role of Technology in Enabling Sustainability: A Global Survey of IT Professionals". The survey, which sought to better understand the technology trends and best practices that impact sustainability success, surveyed 1,244 IT professionals in 12 countries, while conducting in-depth interviews with IT pros in a variety of industries.Well-established sustainability policies and mandates, heavy investments in renewable energy, and geopolitical factors have made sustainability a top-of-mind business issue for organizations with 63% of technology professionals worldwide believing that sustainability is a very or extremely important business priority.Commenting on the results of the study, Reem Asaad, Vice President, Cisco Middle East and Africa, said: “In today’s world, sustainability has become a critical business imperative. Key stakeholders demand it, from customers and investors to employees and regulators.”She added: “We believe that businesses can play a crucial role in supporting the region’s sustainability goals by accelerating commitment, execution capability, and resource availability. One of Cisco’s key priorities in the region is to support our customers in leveraging the power of technology in driving business impact and sustainability outcomes.”Five actionable insights from the study that can positively impact any organization include:Making IT a critical playerSustainability should be a team effort, with shared contributions across the organization. Given its expertise in digitization and innovation, IT can play a unique role in driving investments and implementations of critical technologies, while ensuring that sustainability is integrated into all business operations. More organizations are grasping this and empowering IT in new ways.According to the report, IT took a lead role in formulating strategy and ensuring progress toward sustainability goals in 22 percent of organizations during 2022 — compared with 13 percent in 2021. This signals an upward trend but leaves considerable room for improvement.Shifting from compliance to business outcomesThe IDC InfoBrief reveals a change in priorities from simply following the rules to employing sustainability as a strategic advantage.In 2021, top sustainability drivers included mandates from executive management (40 percent), regulatory requirements (37 percent), and reputational risk (28 percent). In 2022, however, priorities shifted toward business outcomes, with improving operational efficiency (43 percent) as the top driver, followed by competitive differentiation (40 percent), innovation (39 percent), and revenue growth (37 percent).Developing a data strategyAggregating the data needed to effectively manage and track sustainability performance proved to be the biggest operational challenge for 54 percent of companies surveyed. But it was nevertheless a key attribute for sustainability success.43 percent of companies deemed “sustainability pioneers” in the study — that is, rated most mature in sustainability — had developed and operationalized a comprehensive data management strategy. Only 30 percent of “sustainability starters” had done so.Establishing clear KPIsSustainability pioneers also stood out in their ability to quantify performance and progress toward their sustainability goals. These organizations implement dashboards that measure and track key performance indicators for sustainability, creating a precise picture of what’s working and what needs to improve. These could relate to goals around energy management, decarbonization, or business impacts related to sustainability, among many other metrics. And in fast-evolving, highly regulated environments, many are measuring their own metrics against industry benchmarks.Selecting Trusted AdvisorsInvestments in sustainable IT infrastructure can drive key business outcomes such as energy savings, operational efficiency, and reduced waste. And as we have seen, IT leaders should take a lead role in selecting, purchasing, and, of course, implementing and managing these technologies. But IT can’t do it alone. As many IT leaders have learned, a trusted technology vendor that aligns closely with their sustainability goals is a must.

Generative AI and sustainability are driving investment in the tourism tech

Dubai: Generative artificial intelligence (AI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) activities are attracting the highest levels of investment in travel technology at present, according to innovation specialist, Plug and Play. Experts from the Silicon Valley-headquartered firm shared a range of insights into the latest investment trends on the Travel Tech Stage at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023, which will conclude today at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).Speaking on the third day of the show, innovation specialists explored how travel startups are being affected by macroeconomic headwinds and fears of a global recession as part of the ‘Investment Trends Leading Travel Tech’ session.Kristie Choi, Early Stage Tech Investor at Plug and Play, noted that venture capital (VC) investment witnessed a “dramatic pullback” in the second half of 2022, a trend that continued into Q1 2023. “While this looks pretty scary, there are still billions of dollars of dry powder out there to be gained,” she told attendees. “Travel tech round dynamics tend to follow similar patterns as the wider tech market, and we are seeing an increased focus on profitability and cash efficiency in this segment.”Choi said that the travel sector was leading the curve in terms of generative AI investment and adoption. This technology is being leveraged to enhance the customer experience by facilitating trip planning, automating refunds and back-office processes, and supporting content creation. ESG is also a major focus for the travel technology sector, she explained, with sustained investments in transparent data reporting and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) serving to bolster the growth of responsible tourism. The influencer economy, meanwhile, is “driving business away” from online travel agencies (OTAs), according to Choi, as companies look to attract the Gen Z market by integrating direct booking into the channels of content creators.Following Choi’s presentation, Mike Sung, Director, Partner Success – Travel & Hospitality at Plug and Play, joined Natalie Seatter, Chief Product Officer at OAG on the ATM Travel Tech Stage for a conversation about travel technology investment trends.Speaking on the growing importance of artificial intelligence to the tourism industry, Sung noted: “It’s going to be very interesting to see how generative AI is leveraged, especially among travel suppliers in the metaverse. There’s a lot of experimentation happening in the metaverse, and for generative AI, it’s not just about text. It’s also about audio, video and graphics. I think this technology is going to ramp up the velocity of [Web3] solutions, especially for travel and hospitality.”Commenting on the need for investment in data transparency, Seatter said: “The big elephant in the room is the large cloud-based data warehouses [the industry] is using to power platforms. It’s either really hard to understand the carbon-emission cost of these platforms or no one wants to tell you how big it is – or maybe it’s a bit of both. I think that’s certainly one of our challenges.”The day-three session followed the ‘Plug and Play: Sustainable Tech – Startups Pitch Battle’ on day two of ATM 2023, which saw six new ventures compete for a range of industry support and data. Sustainable commercial food waste solutions company, Winnow, beat off stiff competition from CarbonClick, Eilago, Hotelverse, OACIS Middle East Limited LLC and Thrust Carbon to be crowned this year’s winner.The 30th edition of ATM is taking place as part of Arabian Travel Week (1-10 May 2023), a festival of events dedicated to enabling industry professionals from all over the world to collaborate and capitalise on market opportunities through exhibitions, conferences, breakfast briefings, awards, product launches and networking events.Those attending ATM 2023 in person can get involved in the conversation online by using the hashtag #ATMDubai when posting on social media channels.ATM 2023 is being held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre, and its strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) as the Destination Partner, Emirates as the Official Airline Partner, IHG Hotels & Resorts as the Official Hotel Partner, and Al Rais Travel as the Official DMC Partner.