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Profit surge boosts Almarai share price

The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index gained 0.36% Saturday and closed at 6,859.59 points, despite negative U. S. input from last Thursday, as lower than expected labour market data for June disappointed investors. In Riyadh, shares of Almarai Company, one of the largest dairy and food producers in the region, ended up 1.16% at SR62.25. Earlier in the day, Almarai reported for the second quarter a consolidated net profit amounting to SR379.5m. This represented an increase of 8.7% compared to the same period in 2011 (SR349.3m) and an increase of 56.7% compared to the first quarter 2012 (SR242.1m). Almarai said that "The reason for sales growth during the quarter relative to the same period last year is sales growth in all sectors, especially bakery and poultry due to further product development and continuous improvement of services to our customers." Market bellwether Sabic, the petrochemicals and metals giant, slipped half a percent to SR89.50. Ninety-eight shares advanced while 43 declined. Some 282.6m stocks were traded, valued at SR6.3bn.