Kuwait's Agility sees Q1 net profit slip

Revenues also decline as logistics provider cites global turmoil leading to fewer goods being moved.

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By  Rania El Gamal Published  May 4, 2009

Kuwait-based Agility, the Gulf's biggest logistics provider by market value, posted a 1.3 percent fall in first-quarter net profit as the global turmoil hit its commercial logistics business, which saw fewer goods being moved around.

Net profit in the three months to March 31 was 37 million dinars ($127 million) compared to 37.5 million dinars in the same period a year earlier, Agility's Chief Financial Officer Ehab Aziz told Reuters after a board meeting on Monday.

Net profit before non-recurring items rose 16.4 percent to 39.2 million dinars, while adjusted earnings per share stood at 39.15 fils, the company said earlier in a statement.

Aziz declined to explain why the classic net profit differed from the net profit before non-recurring items or why the classic net profit fell. He also declined to give an earnings outlook for 2009.

The company, which has sometimes changed the type of figures it publishes, only said revenues fell by 8.1 percent to 407.4 million dinars in the quarter, citing a decline of volumes in its commercial logistics business.

Revenues of this key unit fell by 13.8 percent to 244.8 million dinars, while revenues of the government and defense unit were up 3.4 percent at 174.6 million dinars.

Agility, which operates in 120 countries, has been trying to lower its dependence on US government deals to supply troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by moving to new markets and making a string of buys. It now also makes money with real estate.

The firm also said operating profit before non-recurring items rose 12.8 percent to 43.7 percent in the first quarter without explaining what was excluded from this figure.

"We are closely monitoring our cash, selectively investing our capital, and rationalising costs to ensure we emerge from this crisis as a stronger player globally," Chairman Tarek Sultan said in a statement.

"We also continue to scope out game changing opportunities for mergers and acquisitions."

Sultan told Reuters last month the firm is aiming for a major acquisition in Asian emerging market countries and is hoping to see growth in its revenues this year.

Aziz said plans for a 25-percent capital increase to fund grwoth were still on hold.

Earnings per share were 37 fils in the first quarter, after 35.9 fils per share a year ago, he said.

Shares of Agility rose 34.5 percent this year to Monday's close, outperforming Kuwait's main stock index which is up 0.24 percent. Earnings were released after the market closed.

3121 days ago
Geriant

"The company, which has sometimes changed the type of figures it publishes" has to be the most telling comment about Agility. The company relies almost entirely on feeding US troops in Iraq through dubious contracts with Bush-era connections, yet it fudges its "sometimes changed" figures to claim it "makes money with real estate". Where, in Ouagadougou?

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