New Strategy Yields Tangible Results

2019 was an eventful year for SEDCO Holding. Most of our operating companies and investments performed well as Focus 2025 began to yield tangible benefits in key areas across the Group.

Our goal is to boost shareholder value through an intensified focus on results and performance, and already our goals are being realized. At the same time, we are cementing our leadership position in target sectors — seeking to follow Vision 2030 — and align with Saudi Arabia’s program of economic diversification.

The principles of Focus 2025 and our responsibility-based approach to business contributed to many achievements recorded during the past year. Among these were several stand-out highlights:

In the hospitality sector, Hotel Galleria and Elaf Al Majeedi enjoyed successful inaugural years. Elaf Group is now revising its corporate strategy in light of the many exciting changes taking place in the Hajj and Umrah, tourism and entertainment sectors that will help position the company for substantial growth.

In healthcare, Nahdi Medical Company opened 78 new pharmacies in 2019 and working on expansion into primary healthcare. The first clinic for direct patient care opened in Jeddah and another will follow in 2020. Nahdi is also focusing on e-commerce while developing its omni-channel platforms to provide greater customer value.

In the education sector, SEDCO is strengthening and expanding its partnership with Yusr International Schools — two new campuses in Jeddah doubling capacity to 4,000 students. Yusr has effectively become an educational platform on which we will build for the future.

AutoWorld has achieved a striking turnaround, with EBIT rising by more than 240% after adopting a new strategy to optimize and grow its core leasing business. The company’s board and executive team were strengthened during the year and several governance initiatives were implemented.

Our direct investments in other sectors — Alshiaka, Arabian Farms and Ejada — each made significant strategic progress and delivered healthy financial results.

While our new restructured Real Estate Division is at an early stage, benefits from the first year are already apparent — mainly in improved efficiency and less duplication of capabilities, leading to better all-round performance in this sector that is fundamental to the Group’s ongoing success.

Reflecting SEDCO’s high standards in corporate governance, we have strengthened our processes and procedures, and enhanced our collaboration with operating companies by establishing new committees and shared services. A new corporate governance function within SEDCO Holding also helps to guide various processes.

The entire Group is embracing digital transformation to improve productivity and transparency and the new Digital Transformation Committee already has two initiatives in action.

These achievements reflect SEDCO’s commitment to nurturing our Group-wide personal skills and capabilities. In this context, we celebrated the graduation of the fourth wave of SEDCO Stars, under the strategy to identify high-potential employees and fast-track them into leadership roles. And in recognition of SEDCO’s continued efforts to enhance our corporate culture, I am proud to report that the Group has been certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’ by the global organization that confers this distinction.

Looking outwards, our flagship corporate social responsibility program — Riyali — has continued to have a significant impact, reaching more than 1.23 million beneficiaries. We launched new tailored versions for different school-age groups and worked closely with the Ministry of Education to accelerate Riyali’s national coverage and impact.

In the coming year and beyond, Focus 2025 will position us as the partner of choice that invests in a prosperous future. Therefore, I extend heartfelt thanks to our partners in prosperity: our shareholders, Group and operating company Board members, executive teams, and of course our outstanding people across the organization.