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UAE logistics giant Aramex on Wednesday reported a higher 2020 revenue as COVID-19 accelerated e-commerce activities. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: UAE logistics giant Aramex on Wednesday reported a higher 2020 revenue as COVID-19 accelerated e-commerce activities.

Revenue rose 9 per cent year-over-year to Dh5.5 billion – the company’s highest on record. Meanwhile, Aramex’s net profit for the full year stood at Dh285 million, down about 43 per cent from a year earlier.

“As the global economy recovers from the pandemic and the global vaccination drive gathers pace, we are optimistic about the future of our industry. Demand-side fundamentals are encouraging as more and more businesses will depend on us to move and deliver shipments globally and domestically,” said Captain Mohamed Juma Alshamsi, Chairman of Aramex.

At the end of 2020, Aramex’s total cash stood at Dh1.26 billion and free cash flow of Dh441 million. Aramex said it’s agreement to sell InfoFort will strengthen the company’s balance sheet and result in a “more focused group.”

Consolidation

“Supply-side, we anticipate a consolidation of market participants, creating stronger, more efficient, and technology-powered logistics service providers that are better able to offer customized solutions,” said Alshamsi.

“At Aramex, we will look to further strengthen our leadership position in our core markets while continuing to make inroads into servicing industries that have high volume and growing demand,” he added.

Businesses do well

Aramex’s International Express business jumped 18 per cent to Dh796 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to Dh673 million in the same period a year earlier. The increase was driven by growth in e-commerce from US, Europe and Asia.

Domestic Express surged 19 per cent year-over-year to Dh387 million in the quarter. A surge in e-commerce activity led to a 37 per cent increase in e-commerce volumes in core markets, notably from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait.

The company’s Freight-Forwarding business reported fourth-quarter revenue of Dh280 million, down 5 per cent, from a year earlier, on the back of the decline in activity from the oil and gas and fashion retail segment.

“While 2020 was riddled with operational hurdles, we managed to end the year on a strong footing,” said Thomas Kipp, Chief Operating Officer at Aramex.