Agility, the Middle East-based logistics group, reckons that “the ongoing financial crisis has created unique opportunities for forging new partnerships and acquiring assets on the basis of attractive and previously unobtainable business terms”.
The group has reported an operating profit of $600 million on sales of $6.8 billion for 2008.
Tarek Sultan, chairman and managing director of Agility, said: “Even though we began to feel the impact of the global economic crisis in our commercial business in the fourth quarter of 2008 as world trade volumes slowed; Agility was able to achieve strong profits which helped enhance our balance sheet position.”
“To capitalise on opportunities emanating from the global financial crisis and to position Agility as the pre-eminent supply chain partner for commercial and public sector entities, the Board of Directors is recommending to shareholders that no dividends be paid for the fiscal year 2008. Agility believes that the ongoing financial crisis has created unique opportunities for forging new partnerships and acquiring assets on the basis of attractive and previously unobtainable business terms.
“We look to come out of the global downturn stronger than ever. We have an excellent cash position, healthy debt profile, a diversified customer base and an established footprint in the emerging markets that offer the most potential for future growth,” he said.
Agility’s commercial division, Agility Global Integrated Logistics (GIL) accounted for 59 per cent of Agility’s revenue in 2008. GIL is headquartered in Switzerland and provides supply chain solutions to customers in technology, retail, chemicals, and other industries. Its revenue rose 17 per cent year on year. Business wins included: Nokia, Siemens, Cadbury, Emerson, and Flextronics.
GIL expanded its European network through acquisitions, establishing offices in Austria, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, Denmark and Finland. Through GIL, Agility invested in Algeria, Libya, Morocco and the Kurdish region of Iraq, and continued to develop its third-party logistics capabilities throughout the Middle East and Africa. The company sought to expand its presence and capabilities in China and acquired Shenzhen-based ocean freight forwarder COSA Freight and purchased Shanghai-based logistics provider Baisui Logistics to serve the growing Chinese domestic market.