The difficult trading conditions in 2018 have inevitably affected our financial performance, but it has not dimmed our confidence, as we continue to ramp up capacity and build further momentum across the MENA region. Indeed, given the fierce competition, it has been very gratifying to see our customer base, and sales volume grow.
Across the business, we are working tirelessly to ensure that we become the regional partner of choice. To this end, we have expanded our product portfolio with a broader range of weights and sizes, which means that we now can cater to all customer needs.
The lion’s share of our business is still done in KSA, but international sales have been growing rapidly as we actively diversify our revenue streams. Our turnover abroad has increased more than six-fold since 2016, and now constitutes 18.2% of overall sales. We are particularly excited about Africa, where we see huge potential in several countries.
It is an inherent feature of our business that we have minimal control over price, which makes cost discipline all the more important. Protecting margins is vital, and we believe we can cushion future raw-material volatility through a leaner cost structure, and by continuously improving our operational efficiency. As for capital stewardship, we have continued to manage the balance sheet conservatively, financing fixed investments from our cash reserves rather than debt.
Looking ahead, we are focused on growing organically, by expanding our operating and storage assets – having competitively priced quality products, success hinges on the relationships we forge with our customers. This means being attentive to their evolving needs and adapting our business accordingly.