Dubai: Aramex, the Dubai-based logistics firm, said on Tuesday that its net profit and revenue for 2018 had increased, despite a drop in profit in the fourth quarter.

The company, which is majority owned by Dubai-based businessman Mohammad Alabbar and Australia Post, posted a full year net profit of Dh492 million for last year, an increase of 13 per cent on 2017.

Likewise, revenue for last year grew by eight per cent Dh5.08 billion.

This was despite a seven per cent decline in net profit in the fourth quarter of 2018. Aramex said it made Dh154 million between October and December of last year, compared to Dh165 million in the same period the year before.

However, the company nevertheless saw its fourth quarter revenue increase by 8 per cent to Dh1.42 billion.

Aramex said in a statement that the Dh46 million cost of divesting from Aramex Global Solutions was to blame for the dip in quarterly profits.

In December 2018, the company said it would sell its 60 per cent stake in a joint venture with Australia Post for $20 million, incurring a one-time write-off of $13 million.

“We are very pleased to report one of Aramex’s most profitable years,” said Bashar Obeid, chief executive of Aramex.

The company in fact recorded a much more profitable year in 2016, with net profits increasing by 37 per cent to Dh426.6 million ($116.1 million), compared to Dh311.3 million ($84.7 million) in 2015.

“Our 2018 financial results reflect the success to date of our digital transformation efforts and the strong growth experienced across all verticals, particularly within our International Express business,” Obeid said.

The division had been particularly well positioned to benefit from the global boom in e-commerce, he added.

The CEO said that the company had focused on creating a leaner, more efficient business in 2018, with the aim of transforming Aramex’s overall operations.

“This work has paid off and ultimately expanded both our top and bottom line while significantly upgrading our service level to our customers.”

In a statement, Obeid said that 2018 had been a “transformational year” for the company, pointing to upgraded service levels through increased last mile capacity, the enhancement of Aramex’s next day delivery services, and the digitisation of the company’s end-to-end shipment journey.

“Moving forward, we will continue to leverage new innovations such as Aramex Fleet, our crowdsourcing model; and WhatsApp for Business, to create more personalised interaction channels with our customers that deliver the transparency, visibility and flexibility they demand,” he said.

One of the priorities for 2019 would be “focusing on operations optimisation by introducing new operational methods and processes that will further improve our service levels throughout all key verticals,” Iyad Kamal, Aramex’s chief operating officer, said.