KUWAIT, (Reuters) – Kuwait’s Agility, the Gulf’s biggest logistics provider, posted an 8 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit, according to Reuters calculations based on a newspaper report.
Kuwaiti newspapers also said on Friday that Agility, which has been diversifying its business away from U.S. deals to supply troops in Iraq, was planning a 25 percent capital increase.
Six dailies said in similar reports that 2007 earnings per share reached 163 fils, while Al-Rai added full-year net profit came in at around 155 million dinars ($580.5 million), down from 166.5 million dinars in 2006. There are 1,000 fils to the dinar.
Based on the 155 million dinars, Agility would have posted a fourth quarter profit of 36 million dinars, down from 39 million dinars in the same quarter a year ago.
That would be well below a forecast by Global Investment House of 49.80 million dinars, 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 Sunday,” she told Reuters.
Agility’s board met on Thursday to discuss results.
In Kuwait, some companies release statements to the local Arabic press first. Chief Financial Officer Ehab Aziz could not immediately be reached on Friday.
Newspapers also said the company would propose an 80 percent cash dividend and a 10 percent bonus share issue for 2007.
This is less than the previous year, when Agility paid a 90 percent cash dividend and had a 20 percent bonus share issue.
The company also plans a 25 percent capital increase, selling shares for 450 fils each, well below the latest closing price of 1.220 dinar, the reports said.
Agility has a total market capitalisation of almost 1.2 billion dinars.
Based on outstanding shares of 951.67, according to Reuters data, plus the planned 10 percent bonus share issue, a 25 percent capital increase sold at 450 fils each would be worth around 118 million dinars.
Agility shares, which have fallen almost 12 percent this year, will resume trading in Kuwait and Dubai on Sunday.
Chairman Tarek Sultan al-Essa told Reuters in April the company expected a lower profit in 2007, citing uncertainty over U.S. government deals.
Agility has said it wants to expand its non-government supply business and enter emerging markets to lower its exposure to U.S. army deals to feed troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It has made a string of acquisitions and founded joint ventures, including in Iraq’s Kurdish region and Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.