Bahrain’s glass industry thriving despite downturn

The Alyusuf Group, one of Bahrain’s leading glass processors, says the financial crisis has had no impact on business and its processing factory is currently running at maximum capacity.

The company was exhibiting its products at Bahrain’s 2009 Gulfbid exhibition, which opened yesterday and showcases a range of construction and interior products.

Alyusuf Group’s managing director Bassim Alyusuf said they were signing new bookings every week and have secured business up until the first quarter of 2010. “In the first quarter of 2008 our factory was doing a shift and a half per day; by the end of 2008 we were running two shifts; now we are running 24 hours a day, that’s 2000m2 of glass per day,” he told Construction Week.

Alyusuf said 70% of their production is catering for exterior facades on large projects, which is one reason why they have avoided the downturn. “Only the projects that are underway require glass and you don’t reach that stage unless you are more than halfway through the project. Maybe that is why we are not affected,” he said. Alyusuf said the only affect of the financial crisis he has witnessed was an influx of UAE companies in the Bahrain market. “This became very apparent earlier in the year because our customers started complaining that they were getting cheaper prices from our UAE competitors,” he said. “We have had to match that which is only about a 5% reduction in price. So it’s is a concern when it comes to pricing and profitability, but that’s about it.” Alyusuf said his company currently has between 30-40% of the Bahrain market share and there are still plenty more opportunities available.

The 2009 Gulfbid exhibition was opened this morning by Bahrain’s Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and has attracted 190 exhibitors from Bahrain, the Gulf and around the world.

Organisers said the number of exhibitors was up from 182 last year, as was the number of countries exhibiting, which increased from 22 to 26.

600450 Bahrain’s glass industry thriving despite downturn
Date: 11 May 2009

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