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Raya’s corporate philosophy continues to be characterized by a well-defined long-term plan and clear strategy to achieve growth. Our reports underline our steadily growing revenues and profits, and highlight our continuing achievements, stemming from our ability to carefully plan and prepare for – and respond to – potential challenges and unexpected circumstances. Thanks to our proven business model in delivering continued expansion, the majority of Raya’s subsidiaries witnessed remarkable results, meeting – and in some cases exceeding – their 2018 business objectives.
Raya Holding has maintained its steadfast and vigorous march forward through our in-vestment conglomerate. In 2018, we continued to build on the strong base created in previous years, and compared to 2017 figures, revenues have increased by 17 percent, yielding an operating income of nearly EGP 500 million, with an overall performance that was strongly in line with our expectations. Raya Foods and Raya Trade continue to rise to the challenge of further consolidating their market positioning and meeting their respective customers’ purchasing requirements.
With regards to our long-term strategy for portfolio diversification, we achieved success through both geographic expansion and vertical integration. Our investment program continued in 2018, and through Raya for Advanced Manufacturing (Raya Auto), we have launched a light transport vehicle manufacturing assembly co-operation project with Italy’s Piaggio, with an initial investment worth EGP 100 million. With regards to BariQ, the largest bottle-to-bottle manufacturer of recycled PET plastic in Egypt, the Middle East and Africa (MEA), plans are underway to leverage its current success by exploring the doubling of its production capacity in the near future; launching new production lines and infrastructure upgrades, with an investment worth approximately EGP 250 million. Furthermore, Raya Trade is currently completing in depth investigations for an air conditioner manufacturing project under the trademarks Chigo and York, with a projected production capacity of 100,000 air conditioners annually.
Raya’s logistics arm, Ostool, has over 600 employees, a fleet of 245 trucks, and an annual revenue of nearly EGP 340 million. Ostool’s trucks operate nationwide, transporting an array of goods, most notably cement; glass; wheat; and foodstuffs. Aman for E-Payments is currently delivering advanced electronic payments services, reaching over 12 million unique users across 40 thousand Points of Sale (POS) in 2018. Aman for Financial Services has successfully launched 230 branches, achieving a revenue of EGP 155 million, and a Gross Profit (GP) margin of 12 percent during its first full year of operations. An important milestone was the receipt of the final licensing required from the Financial Regulatory Authority for Raya to commence providing micro-finance services. Accordingly, Aman Microfinance began operations this year and succeeded in providing nearly EGP 70 million in loan disbursements during the second half of 2018. Raya Contact Center has a well-defined growth strategy with significant room for further expansion, and has achieved an approximately 25 percent EBITDA margin, with a 21 per-cent net profit margin. This result is supported by its dominant share of 20 percent of the Egyptian Contact Center Outsourcing (CCO) market. Raya Information Technology, on the other hand, is currently recognized not only in Egypt, but across the entire Middle East region, as a leading systems integrator (SI) that supports and contributes to national development. In addition to our focus on existing businesses, we continue to identify opportunities to diversify into new markets within Nigeria and Tanzania, and to expand geographically to nearby countries through our exclusive agency for Lenovo’s mobile products. Raya Holding will continue to inject significant investments into our local market, and endeavor to develop, expand and rapidly diversify outside Egypt, supporting our conglomerate concept across the different fields of manufacturing, food industries, and non-banking financial services, among others. We believe diversification keeps us relevant and encourages growth and progress. Our stellar performance to date is the result of many factors, including our continuing commitment to ensure that we always have the highest quality products in the right place, at the right time. I extend my sincere thanks to all of Raya’s stakeholders, who have helped us turn our business into a set of values for end users. Raya will continue adopting long-term strategies to achieve our clearly defined diversification, growth and expansion plans by the end of 2020, ensuring deliberate, stable, and steady growth. We believe the best is yet to come, and providing quality products is not just a promise, it is a commitment.