Saudi Arabia’s Almarai, the Gulf’s largest dairy company, plans to spend 10.6 billion riyals ($2.8 billion) in capital investment under a five-year business plan aimed at boosting its efficiency and expanding its geographic footprint.

The investment for the period from 2019 to 2023 will be financed through growing operating cash flow, bank funding, local and international Sukuk programs, as well as the Saudi Industrial Development Fund and the Agricultural Development Fund.

The company said in a statement that given the persistently challenging economic conditions across the region, the focus on efficiency and cost optimization measures will continue throughout the plan period to ensure continuous competitive advantage.

Consumer goods companies and retailers in Saudi Arabia have suffered as the combination of the introduction of Value Added Tax, higher energy prices and a fragile labors market have curbed consumer spending. Almarai and other Saudi exporters have also been impacted by the cutting off of the Qatari market as a result of a regional diplomatic rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.