Arafa Holding makes clothing for some of the worlds leading retailers

Arafa Holding makes clothing for some of the world's leading retailers

Arafa Holding, Egypt's biggest garment exporter, is shrugging off the impact of two weeks of political unrest in its home country, and says production is back to full capacity and that none of its orders have been cancelled.

The company, which is headquartered in Nasr City, Cairo, makes clothing for Zara, JC Penney, Macy's, Banana Republic and Gap, with around 78% of its local manufacturing sales shipped overseas.

But because its facilities are located at least 50km from Cairo in the 6th of October and Beni Sweif areas they were up and running for the entire six days from 29 January to 3 February. The protests against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak began on 25 January.

However, its Goldentex facilities in the 10th of Ramadan area were forced to close, but reopened again on Saturday (5 February).

Average productivity is now back to 95%, the company says. Current group working hours are from 8am-4pm which is only half an hour less than normal working hours, which end at 4:30pm, and will be extended in line with the curfew and the security situation.

“We expect a shipment lag of almost a week predominately due to the logistical interruption that took place at the shipping harbours last week,” Arafa Holding said on Monday. But it said product shipments by sea and air have begun again.

“Given the seasonal nature of the industry and the related manufacturing and delivery lead time for the products to reach the end consumer, no order cancellations and/or order postponements are perceived by any of our manufacturing operations,” it added.
In terms of the future orders it says the impact of the current situation in Egypt “will only be realised during the early part of the second quarter 2011.

“Nonetheless, management is confident that, production and shipment of goods during the previous difficult times should comfort our clients and accordingly limit any potential fallout from the current circumstances to the bare minimum.”

Arafa Holding’s foreign operations – mainly Baird Group, which accounted for 33.6% of sales in the last nine months of 2010 and Forall in Italy – were unaffected by the troubles in Egypt.