Kuwait's Agility posts 15% rise in 4Q net income as it mulls IPO of business units

Company's target of $800m in EBITDA by 2020 may be delayed beyond next year

An Agility facility in Kuwait City. The company said it is considering an IPO of certain business units. AFP
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Agility, one of the biggest logistics companies in the Arabian Gulf, posted a 15.1 per cent increase in fourth-quarter net profit as it recorded growth in its aviation and infrastructure business.

Net income in the three months to December 31 reached 22.2 million Kuwaiti dinars (Dh268.3m) compared to the prior-year period and fourth-quarter net revenue dropped 1.6 per cent to 123.7m dinars year-on-year, Agility said in a statement on Saturday. The Kuwaiti company may delay its target of achieving $800 million in EBITDA next year while eyeing acquisitions and weighing the sale of some of its business units, it said.

"Agility has improved profitability for shareholders for 10 consecutive quarters,"  Tarek Sultan, Agility's chief executive and vice-chairman said. "In 2018, Agility posted double-digit EBITDA growth for the third year in a row."

The logistics and warehousing 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.

It has also teamed up with an investment firm in its bid to acquire part of Abraaj's business. Dubai-based Abraaj, which is undergoing a provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands, is looking to sell part of its fund management business Abraaj Investment Management. Agility expressed an interest in the company in July.

Mr Sultan said Agility remains committed to achieving its target of $800 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) but the timeline may be delayed "beyond 2020", without providing further specifics.

Agility will explore growth options including investments, acquisitions and public offerings of certain businesses in its portfolio, he said.

Agility’s board recommended a cash dividend of 15 per cent or 15 fils per share and 15 shares for every 100 shares held, subject to approval of its general assembly.

The company's annual net income grew 18.4 per cent to 81.1m dinars while net revenue rose 5.9 per cent to 497.8m compared to 2017. It increased its full-year EBITDA to 154.8m, up 14.5 per cent from 2017.