Kuwait’s Agility beats quarterly profit expectations

Agility’s board recommended that the company pay a dividend of 30 Kuwaiti fils per share for 2016.

Agility, the Kuwaiti logistics firm, posted a 5 per cent increase in net profit in the fourth quarter last year, beating analyst expectations, as it set a target of reaching earnings before tax, interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) of $800 million by 2020. Net profit attributable to equity holders of the company rose to 14.3 million Kuwaiti dinars (Dh173.9m) in the three months ending December 31 from 13.6m dinars in the year-earlier period, the company said.

The results beat the forecast of 13m dinars net profit by Bahrain’s Sico.

“For 2016, we see a mixed picture clouded by slower growth in emerging markets, ongoing sluggishness in the euro zone, geopolitical instability in various parts of the world, and the continuation of low oil prices,” the chief executive Tarek Sultan said. “But in the medium to longer term, we believe in our ability to grow our market share and footprint in emerging markets to serve growing consumer demand. I am confident in our strategy and our ability to meet our 2020 Ebitda target of $800m.”

The company’s Ebitda in 2015 was 100m dinars.

Total operating revenue in the fourth quarter dropped 12 per cent to 321.9m dinars from 364.2m dinars in a year earlier because of a drop in logistics revenue, which contributed 75 per cent to total operating revenue.

“Sluggish trade growth in addition to softening of freight rates have been impacting the company’s logistic’s operations,” said the Sico analyst Ayub Ansari.

Agility’s board recommended that the company pay a dividend of 30 Kuwaiti fils per share for 2016. Last year the company paid 35 fils per share and distributed stock dividends of five shares for every 100 shares.

The company, which is listed in Dubai and Kuwait, also said it would buy back up to 10 per cent of its share capital at a mechanism, price and quantity to be announced in the future. The buyback will be in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Capital Market Authority in Kuwait, the company added.

“The decision to pursue a buyback programme demonstrates our belief that the true value of the company is greater than the current market value and that repurchased shares will be accretive to remaining shareholders,” said Mr Sultan.

dalsaadi@thenational.ae

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