Stock Aramex courier Dubai
Domestic express services also showed improvement in the second quarter numbers for Aramex. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai logistics company Aramex recorded a 31 per cent decline in first-half 2021 net profits to Dh111.47 million against Dh161.79 million a year ago. This despite double-digit improvements in volumes, especially on its international express deliveries.

The decline on the profit side is being attributed to the company’s ongoing investments in “digital transformation”. Revenues for the period were up 23 per cent to Dh2.99 billion, from Dh2.44 billion in first-half 2020.

“Our freight forwarding business witnessed a swift recovery to better than pre-pandemic levels, thanks to operational and commercial readiness to service the strong rebound in cyclical industries, specifically oil and gas and retail,” said Othman Aljeda, CEO of Aramex. The company recently confirmed plans to get into more industry verticals, such as the aviation industry, to diversify its income stream.

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International is back

One area where there is a clear return from COVID-19 created disruptions is in its international express business, where revenues are up 23 per cent in the second quarter to Dh733.6 million. Most of these were shipments from the US, the UK and Hong Kong, as delivery services returned to smoother movements across borders.

Thomas Kipp, Chief Operating Officer at Aramex, said: “We continued to handle a growing number of shipments with an impressive growth momentum over the last three months from cross-border e-commerce. This a strong testament of our ability to continue securing capacity amidst constrained cargo space, especially air cargo.

“While the disconnect between cargo supply and demand have pushed line haul rates higher - with no visibility as to when those rates may abate - our role is to continue to find cost-efficient ways to overcome those pandemic-induced challenges and to optimize our operations.”