During 2019, Raya marked a very special milestone as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of our group’s founding. Throughout those 20 years, we continuously grew and diversified into new and exciting investment opportunities. Raya Holding prides itself as one of the few companies in the Egyptian market that continued to invest and deliver consistent profitability despite a very challenging macro environment throughout the past decade. We also pride ourselves over our commitment to empower every individual and every business unit across our organization to grow, innovate and achieve further.
Throughout the year, we dedicated an increased effort to focus on expanding the products and services profile across our existing investments in order to maximize efficiency and profitably. These efforts entailed an increase in capital expenditures that would ensure the sustainability of our investments going forward. Despite the downward pressure from these efforts on our bottom line, we believe that our various investments are now in a better position to generate further value. In spite the challenges we faced in 2019, Raya Holding ended the year with revenues of nearly EGP 9 billion at the consolidated level, almost 11% higher than the prior year. Furthermore, we as a group took this as an opportunity for us to innovate solutions that would allow us to remain competitive while pressing forward with our investment plan. In November 2019, we successfully concluded the issuance of the first securitized bond offering in the history of Raya Holding, with a total value of nearly EGP 550 million. The highly rated bond offering, which was well covered by various institutional investors, allowed us to further grow our NBFS platform by monetizing assets without burdening our group’s leverage position. Through the said bond offering, Raya Holding would become the first company in the MENA region to securitize both consumer and micro-loans. Additionally, the group’s performance was highly supported by the stellar performance of Raya IT along with double digit growth across BariQ and Ostool’s bottom line.
RAYA HOLDING, the first company in the MENA region to securitize both consumer and micro-loans
In addition, we ended 2019 with a successful agreement with global electronics manufacturer, Haier, to establish an exclusive joint venture to produce air conditioners under Haier and General Electric brands in Egypt and to eventually export across other regional markets. This latter achievement is of particular significance as it serves as a testament to our market recognition with respect to our experience in the consumer electronics market as well as our growing industrial capacity. Nevertheless, 2019 proved to be a fairly challenging year for Raya Holding. Several macroeconomic headwinds would eventually hinder the bottom-line growth we had originally aimed for across some of our subsidiaries. An unforeseen appreciation in the EGP took its toll on the revenues of our exporting businesses such as Raya Contact Center, BariQ, and Raya Foods. Raya Trade, one of our more established lines of business, was heavily impacted by an import ban on mobile phones during the first quarter of the year given the new registration process with the customs authority in addition to a market wide slowdown in electronics’ retail.
Raya Holding’s profitability was also subdued by the losses incurred within our more fresh investments across the Non-Bank Financial Services (NBFS), FMCG and light vehicles business units. Such losses were expected given these subsidiaries are in the early stages of their growth cycle which entails an aggressive investment in capital, both technical and human, as well as a rather prudent approach to the management of our available financial resources. Going into 2020, our main focus will be directed towards ramping up the operations as well as further consolidating the market positioning across our newly established lines of business. In parallel, we will work towards enhancing the returns of our more established lines of business on both the financial and operational fronts. To that end, we reiterate our commitment to our various stakeholders that we will continue to uphold our core target of maintaining Raya as a market leader wherever we operate.