x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Aramex grows keen on Turkey

Aramex, the region's largest courier company, is considering acquisitions in Turkey, helping it link up its operations in the Arab world with the eastern Mediterranean country.

Aramex is keen to ramp up its business in Turkey and is looking for either a partner or to make an acquisition.
Aramex is keen to ramp up its business in Turkey and is looking for either a partner or to make an acquisition.

Aramex, the region's largest courier company, is considering acquisitions in Turkey, helping it link up its operations in the Arab world with the eastern Mediterranean country.

The expansion comes as the firm seeks to bolster its presence beyond the Middle East.

"Today, we think Turkey is a natural expansion market for us, and we want to do that through possible acquisitions," said Fadi Ghandour, the chief executive.

"That is because of its rapidly expanding economy, booming e-commerce market and they are looking eastwards into markets that Aramex has very strong presence in." .

The firm is keen to either find a company to partner or make an acquisition.

Aramex is keen to increase its business in Turkey, a country acting as a gateway between the Middle East and Europe. It offers a fast-emerging market with high annual growth, an increasing middle class and a large Arab population.

It is the latest sign of the Dubai-listed company's strategy of using acquisitions to widen its footprint outside its Middle East heartland.

Some of Aramex's regional markets have suffered as a result of the Arab Spring.

It stopped its operations in Libya and was affected by unrest in Egypt and Bahrain.

Still, the firm said in July it managed to post a 3 per cent rise in second-quarter profit to Dh56.5 million (US$15.3m).

Aramex began operating in Turkey in the 1980s. It beefed up its commitment in the country last December after increasing its shareholding to 100 per cent of its subsidiary, Aramex Turkey.

The move followed Aramex Turkey achieving continuous annual growth.

"This acquisition positions Aramex as a fully committed logistics and supply chain provider in Turkey, allowing the company high levels of flexibility," it said at the time.

Striving to be a bigger presence in the European market, Aramex in February struck a deal to acquire Ireland's Aquaship Agencies, a liner agent and freight-forwarding company based in Dublin.

The move gave the firm access to all of Aquaship's operations from Ireland to markets that include the US, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The company also wants to expand in Africa and has earmarked about $70m for growth and acquisitions over the next two years, Mr Ghandour was quoted as saying in May.

Despite uncertainty in the region, the company still expects to expand by 10 to 12 per cent this year, Aramex said in July.

Regional unrest, higher fuel prices and inflation meant it would maintain a cautious outlook, it said then.

The firm's stock edged 0.5 per cent lower on the Dubai Financial Market General Index yesterday to Dh1.7 per share.

The stock has declined 15 per cent this year.

The company's shares have proved attractive to investors seeking defensive stocks against a backdrop of uncertainty in global financial markets.

 

tarnold@thenational.ae