Halal Industry

Saudi food service company Herfy says difficult to determine financial impact of COVID-19 restrictions

Saudi food service company Herfy said it is unable to determine the financial impact the COVID-19 restrictions will have on its business.

The company, listed on Tadawul, the Saudi stock exchange, said on Sunday (Apr 12) that it also cannot determine the financial impact of the support package the government is handing out to the private sector.

Saudi authorities have announced several financial support packages for different sectors of the economy, including the government covering 60% of salaries in private sector industries for the next three months, as part of a 9 billion riyals ($2.4 billion) package announced Apr 3. 

Herfy’s foodservice and catering businesses are hit by the government’s decisions to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the temporary closure of shopping malls, restaurants in commercial centres, and the restriction of food delivery services.

Saudi authorities started implementing precautionary measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in late February when it halted all umrah pilgrims from entering the country. Most recently on Apr 11 the government indefinitely extended curfews, from 3pm to 6am, across the country.

The Kingdom reported 382 new cases on Apr 11, taking the total tally to 4,033. 3,261 are diagnosed as “active” while 720 have recovered, according to state news agency SPA. There have been 52 deaths from the COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia as at Apr 11.  

Herfy operates its fast food restaurants as well as bakeries. It also has a meat processing business line. The company reported a 3.96% drop in net profit for 2019 to 196.09 million riyals ($52.29 million).

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