Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Agility opens new regional distribution hub in Bahrain in push for GCC expansion

The company plans to invest $1.6bn by 2020 to grow its industrial real estate and warehousing business

Last month, Agility said it will invest $100 million in a digital logistics platform that allows small businesses and entrepreneurs to manage their freight and deliveries online. AFP
Last month, Agility said it will invest $100 million in a digital logistics platform that allows small businesses and entrepreneurs to manage their freight and deliveries online. AFP

Kuwait’s Agility, one of the top-listed logistics companies in the GCC, has opened a regional distribution hub in Bahrain, as the company looks to boost its warehousing, freight and transport capabilities in the Arabian Gulf.

The 28,000 square metre facility, built with an investment of $10 million (Dh36.7m), also expands the company’s specialty capabilities with chilled and frozen storage, as well as solutions for high-value cargo, the company said in a statement on Thursday. The move to establish a hub with a storage capacity of 17,000 pallet positions follows Agility’s decision to expand its overland fleet in Bahrain to support its regional operations, it added.

“Bahrain is one of our key operational markets in the Middle East, offering high-quality infrastructure and a diverse community of regional business players,” said Essa Al Saleh, chief executive of Agility’s global logistics business. “With an expanding population in the GCC and an increase in demand for integrated logistics services, our investment in Bahrain will help us better serve customers in the region.”

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Bahrain is undergoing rapid economic transformation, with the logistics industry playing a major role. The World Bank estimates that Bahrain’s economy will grow by 2.6 per cent in 2019, driven by higher oil production and infrastructure projects. In 2017, the total value of foreign direct investment reached $733m, with the share of transport and logistics at 10 per cent, according to the statement.

Agility is mulling a bond issuance of up to $1 billion in 2019 to fund expansion. The company, which plans to invest $1.6bn by 2020, is seeking to grow its industrial real estate and warehousing business across emerging markets to meet growing demand driven by e-commerce transactions, its chief executive Tarek Sultan told The National in December.

It could raise finance from either syndicated bank loans or a dollar bond issuance and will make a decision based on market conditions and pricing.

Agility is expanding to diversify its revenue streams and reach its target of $800m earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) by 2020. The company expects to turn an annual profit in 2018 and a growth in annual earnings this year, up from 2018 as its logistics and infrastructure business continues to grow, Mr Sultan said.

Updated: January 10, 2019 05:42 PM

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