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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Kuwait's Agility third-quarter profit up 12.3 per cent

The company has witnessed double digit growth in its logistics business

An Agility facility in Kuwait City. The Kuwait-based logistics company reported a 12.3 per cent increase in third-quarter net profit. AFP
An Agility facility in Kuwait City. The Kuwait-based logistics company reported a 12.3 per cent increase in third-quarter net profit. AFP

Kuwait’s Agility, one of the biggest logistics companies in the Arabian Gulf, reported a 12.3 per cent increase in third-quarter profit citing a rise in operating income.

Net profit attributable to shareholders in the three months ending September 30 rose to 20 million Kuwaiti dinars (Dh241m), Agility said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market yesterday. Net revenue for the period increased 8.4 per cent year-on-year to 125.2m dinars while operating income jumped 16 per cent to 30.1m dinars.

“The company’s investments in technology and emerging markets infrastructure are paying off with better productivity, a growing customer base, and a diversified service and geographical offering,” said Tarek Sultan, Agility vice chairman and chief executive.

Agility, which expressed an interest in embattled private equity firm Abraaj in July, has partnered with an investment firm to bid for part of the company’s fund management business. The talks remain “fluid” and there is no timeline for concluding the negotiations, Mr Sultan told The National last month.

The company is also investing heavily in Africa, building a mall in the UAE and setting up a logistics parks in Saudi Arabia.

Agility has registered double-digit earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation growth in its logistics business and across its portfolio of subsidiary

companies.

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The company’s third-quarter Ebitda increased 14.8 per cent to 39.2m dinars. Agility, which has 1.8 billion dinars in assets, said its net debt reached 138.4m dinars as of

September 30. Agility’s Global Integrated Logistics unit recorded a 5.1 per cent increase in net revenue of 64.8m dinars, driven by air freight and contract logistics, it said.

The company’s infrastructure group revenue grew 16.1 per cent to 105.6m dinar in the third quarter while Agility Logistics Park reported 4.8 per cent revenue growth in the period despite “challenging” market conditions.

Agility, which is listed in Kuwait and Dubai, plans to invest at least $2bn (Dh7.34bn) by 2020 in its business, mainly in infrastructure, real estate and technology, Mr Sultan said at the time.

Most of the investments in infrastructure and real estate will be concentrated in emerging markets, particularly in Africa and Saudi Arabia, where the logistics park Agility is building could cater to its customers and the boom in e-commerce.

The company could issue a bond this year to help finance its investments and the size of the issue may well exceed $500m, if the rates are more attractive than those of bank loans, he said.

The company has logistics parks under various stages in Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ivory Coast and Kenya. In Saudi Arabia, Agility has projects in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam and expects to benefit from the kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to develop the private sector to lower dependency on income from oil.

In Riyadh, Agility has started delivering warehousing space and is “on track” with the development of the second phase of its logistics park. The company’s development in Africa is “proceeding well” as its Ghana operations, facilities in Mozambique, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire are expected to become operational in 2019.