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Cenomi rolls out Subway sandwich chain in Saudi Arabia

Subway Saudi Reuters
Retail giant Cenomi is selling 'non-strategic' brands to focus on 'coveted' names such as Subway

Saudi Arabia-based Cenomi Retail has announced plans to sell 26 of its “non-strategic” brands, as it refocuses on what it classes as “coveted, winning brands” such as Subway.

In a posting to the Saudi Tadawul exchange Cenomi Retail – the new rebranded name for Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Company – said the brands affected are expected to have a revenue impact of around SAR288 million ($66.6 million).

The statement said: “This programme will support the evolution of the brand portfolio and facilitate the continued focus on bringing the most coveted winning brands to the kingdom to meet consumer needs and support the growth of retail across the country.”

Cenomi Retail, which reported a net profit of SAR79.7 million for the first six months of 2022 (up 16 percent year-on-year) also confirmed the sale of the Azal restaurant chain and Shawarma Almuhalhl for a combined total of SAR25 million.

At the same time, the company revealed strong growth of its Subway brand, with the acquisition of 30 stores across the kingdom adding “directly operated stores” to its sub franchisor store footprint. 

Further expansion plans throughout the country’s food and beverage sector include the opening of 17 more Subway outlets this year, as well as 15 Cinnabon openings.

It comes amid reports that the American owners of the global sandwich giant are exploring a sale of the company, which could value Subway in the region of $10 billion, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

“As a privately held company, we don’t comment on ownership structure and business plans,” a company spokesperson told Reuters in an emailed statement earlier this month.

Owned by its two founding families for over five decades, Subway has established itself as one of the largest quick-service restaurant brands in the world, with more than 37,000 chains in over 100 countries.