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Agility Q4 profit drops 8pc

Kuwait, March 22, 2008

Kuwait's Agility, the Gulf's biggest logistics provider, posted an eight per cent fall in fourth-quarter profit, according to Reuters calculations based on a report.

Kuwaiti newspapers also said that Agility, which has been diversifying its business away from US deals to supply troops in Iraq, was planning a 25 per cent capital increase.

Six dailies said in similar reports that last year's earnings per share reached 163 fils, while Al-Rai added full-year net profit came in at around KD155 million ($580.5 million), down from KD166.5 million in 2006.

Based on the KD155 million, Agility would have posted a fourth quarter profit of KD36 million, down from KD39 million in the same quarter a year ago.

That would be well below a forecast by Global Investment House of KD49.80 million, according to a Reuters survey in December.

Henadi Al Saleh, Agility's director of group investor relations, declined to comment on the reports.

"The official company announcement will be circulated on Sunday," she said.

Agility's board met on Thursday to discuss results. Newspapers also said the company would propose an 80 per cent cash dividend and a 10 per cent bonus share issue for last year.

This is less than the previous year, when Agility paid a 90 per cent cash dividend and had a 20 per cent bonus share issue.

The company also plans a 25 per cent capital increase, selling shares for 450 fils each, well below the latest closing price of KD1.220, the reports said.

Agility has a total market capitalisation of almost KD1.2 billion.

Based on outstanding shares of 951.67, according to Reuters data, plus the planned 10 per cent bonus share issue, a 25 per cent capital increase sold at 450 fils each would be worth around KD118 million.

Agility shares, which have fallen almost 12 per cent this year, will resume trading in Kuwait and Dubai on Sunday.

Chairman Tarek Sultan Al Essa said in April the company expected a lower profit last year, citing uncertainty over US government deals.

Agility has said it wants to expand its non-government supply business and enter emerging markets to lower its exposure to US army deals to feed troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.




Tags: US | Agility | capital | profit | Deals | falls |

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