Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; November 8, 2023: Seera Group has unveiled an ambitious and updated corporate strategy that aims to boldly move the company forward to a new era of growth. Under this revitalized plan, Seera Group will evolve from an operating holding company extending support for all businesses to the streamlined structure of a strategic investor governing its core segments with strategic direction and stewardship.
Under the visionary goals of the transformation programme, which was launched in 2017, Seera Group’s ambitious growth strategy has harnessed the full potential of its diverse portfolio, resulting in the emergence of financially and operationally autonomous and self-sustaining businesses, which operate as market leaders in their industries.
The strategy represents a continuation of the visionary goals outlined in Seera Group’s Transformation Programme launched in 2017. As a strategic investor and engaged owner, Seera Group will continue to steer the portfolio and its key segments (the Travel Platform – Almosafer , Car Rental – Lumi, Hospitality, the UK-based Travel Investment – Portman Travel Group, and an Investment segment) into the next phase of value realisation and growth, while continuing to influence key priorities across its portfolio to ensure long-term and sustainable returns to shareholders. The plan will build on the Group’s strengths and will channel its expertise, financial capabilities, and deep networks of relationships in the market to create value.
The unveiling of the refreshed corporate strategy coincides with the announcement of robust financial results for Q3 2023. With a total revenue of SAR 801 million, Seera Group has exceeded year-on-year third-quarter performance across its business segments. The total profits before non-controlling interest of SAR 47 million (excluding one-off Lumi IPO cost) demonstrate the Group’s strong fundamentals and agile business capabilities. Seera Group’s continued upward trajectory reflects the sustained momentum of its core businesses that will continue to be the main focus within the revised strategy.
In Q3 2022, Seera Group amalgamated the various subsidiaries operating Seera’s travel and tourism businesses (consumer travel, business travel, destination management, and hajj & umrah) under the umbrella of hyper-growing and digitally-enabled Almosafer, to create an integrated platform, built on unified sourcing, data, and technology infrastructure. Almosafer has recovered to profitability post-COVID, achieving a net booking value of SAR 2 billion and an EBITDA of SAR 28 million in Q3 2023. On a standalone basis, Almosafer is set to exceed SAR 10 billion in booking value by 2025 with 1.5% EBITDA margin. As the leading, tech-driven travel & tourism company in Saudi Arabia, Almosafer presents an attractive IPO opportunity within the next 2 to 3 years.
In September 2023, 30 per cent stake of Lumi’s (Seera’s car rental business) was listed on the Kingdom’s Tadawul stock exchange. The Car Rental segment offers a balanced business model, with the long-term lease segment locking in future revenue and profitability, while short-term rental captures high-margin yet with seasonally-driven performance, further complemented by the used car sales division to ensure efficient fleet turnover across both lease and rental, while maximizing purchase price recovery. Lumi continues to monetize a significant fleet base at high EBITDA margins, whilst fully self-sustaining its growth at scale. The business will remain highly profitable and a source of cash flow for the Group. Lumi is expected to grow its fleet size to approximately 35,000 vehicles by 2025 with an expected EBITDA margin of 50%.
The Portman Travel Group has scaled significantly through mergers and acquisitions and attained organic growth in the UK travel & tourism sector. Portman Travel is now reaching the critical mass of a major player in the European market, and notably offers a sports vertical, a high-growth business line. The UK business is set to grow at a CAGR of c. 50% on booking value until 2025 with an expected 3% EBITDA margin. Seera aims to exit Portman through an appropriate divestment mechanism, including a potential IPO in the relevant market, within the next 3 to 5 years.
The Group’s Investment segment has adopted a buy-to-build philosophy towards investments in favour of game-changing opportunities and supporting business scale-up. Notable examples include Careem and its subsequent SAR 1.8 billion exit value upon its acquisition by Uber Technologies, in addition to existing portfolio segments that transitioned from within the umbrella of Investments to key segments of today’s portfolio, such as: Almosafer, Lumi, and Portman Travel Group. Additionally, Seera undertakes passive investments offering alternative sources of liquidity, such as managed funds. The Group’s strategy has shifted to focus on investments with a sustainable return profile that would support further cash flow generation. On that basis, the Group has invested in a private real estate fund to develop the Kayanat Central ("Kayanat") business park.
In line with the Kingdom’s objective to make the city of Riyadh one of the 10 largest city economies in the world, Seera Group has invested in a private real estate fund affiliated with Istithmar Capital that is compliant with sharia standards, with the aim of developing the Kayanat Business Park project in the northern region of the city of Riyadh. The integrated, mixed-use development, with a land area of approximately 100,000 square meters, is located at the strategic intersection of Abu Bakr Al Siddiq and Anas Bin Malik roads, providing easy access to main roads and key landmarks, located approximately 16 minutes away from the King Khalid International Airport (KKIA), 10 minutes away from the Riyadh Front Exhibition & Conventions Center (RFECC), 13 minutes away from King Salman Park, and 9 minutes from the New Murabba district project, one of the largest downtown developments in the world. Kayanat intends to provide a distinctive and energy-efficient space that promotes an effective work environment, improves the quality of life, and drives economic growth.
Under its revised corporate strategy, Seera’s capital allocation strategy will shift from investing in current portfolio companies to support their growth, to one that focuses on deleveraging the balance sheet; new high return investment opportunities; and a proposed share buy-back program.
As part of its vision under the new corporate strategy, Seera will continue to reshape sectors, fuel economies, and build a legacy of champions, guided by its objective to create enduring value within the portfolio and generate attractive returns for shareholders.
All updates regarding the strategy will be announced based as per relevant regulations in due course.