Kuwait's Agility second-quarter profit softens on higher financing costs

Logistics company's total operating revenue for the three month period more than doubled to $1 billion

For the first half of the year, Agility posted a 2 per cent yearly increase in net profit. AFP
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Kuwait's Agility, one of the largest logistics firms in the Middle East and North Africa, recorded a nearly 12 per cent slide in second-quarter profit amid higher financing costs and increased debt to fund growth.

Net profit attributable to owners of the parent company for the three months to the end of June fell to 14.2 million Kuwaiti dinars ($46 million), the company said on Monday in a filing to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.

Second-quarter revenue more than doubled to 327.8 million dinars.

Profitability in the reporting period declined amid “higher interest expense due to the general increase in interest rates, in addition to the increase in the company's debt that was required to fund the company's growth strategies, including acquisitions”, Agility said9.

The company's net debt in the second quarter increased 89 per cent year-on-year to 881.5 million dinars.

Agility acquired UK-based aviation services company John Menzies for £763 million ($921.5 million) in August last year, merging its subsidiary National Aviation Services (Nas) with the British entity to create the world’s biggest aviation services provider.

In March last year, Agility acquired a 51 per cent stake in UK-based HG Storage International for 65 million dinars in a deal aimed at expanding its global portfolio. HG Storage International, a joint venture between HNA Group and Glencore Group, was acquired by Agility’s UAE subsidiary Tristar.

Companies in the global logistics sector have grappled with a decline in shipments over the past few quarters, having been hit by lower demand for their services as consumers returned to in-store shopping patterns after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Higher expenses have also pushed logistics operators to undertake cost-control measures to protect profits and remain competitive.

For the first half of the year, Agility posted a 2 per cent yearly increase in net profit attributable to owners of the parent company to 29.5 million dinars.

“The reason behind the increase in net profit for the six-month period is due to the increase in the company's operating profits in addition to the reporting of Menzies and HG Storage results,” Agility said.

First-half revenue more than doubled to 648.4 million dinars.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) in the first six months of the year rose 70 per cent on an annual basis to 120.9 million dinars.

Agility's assets stood at 3.7 billion dinars as of June 30, the company said.

“We continue to see good results in our operating businesses due to organic growth and our acquisitions in 2022,” Tarek Sultan, vice chairman of Agility, said.

“Global equity markets performed better this quarter, reflecting in our investments segment. Nevertheless, we continue to take a longer-term view of our strategic investments. We also continue to look for opportunities to drive and unlock value for our shareholders."

The combined results of Menzies Aviation and Nas culminated in revenue of 162.2 million dinars and Ebitda of 21.9 million dinars in the second quarter of 2023, an increase of about 862 per cent and 367 per cent, respectively, over the same period last year when Agility was reporting solely on Nas's results.

“Menzies Aviation results have strengthened with the post-pandemic aviation industry recovery, which has included growth in flight volumes. Volumes in most geographies have fully recovered, except for East Asia, where lockdown restrictions were strictest, and volumes are now slowly growing,” the company said.

Menzies has a number of new operations that it has launched or acquired in Jamaica, Panama, Atlanta, Milan and Montreal, Agility said.

Meanwhile, consolidated revenue at Tristar grew 76 per cent in the second quarter from the prior-year period, while Ebitda increased 33.5 per cent, driven mainly by the maritime and fuel farms segments and TriStar’s addition of HG Storage International.

Agility’s other controlled businesses reported Ebitda of 23 million dinars and revenue of 82.1 million dinars, an annual increase of 1 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively.

Updated: August 14, 2023, 9:47 AM