Dubai-based courier Aramex expects profit and revenue growth to slow to below 10 percent this year, with less of a boost from acquisitions than in 2016 and growth moderating in some markets, it said on Monday.
Chief Executive Hussein Hachem told a press conference he was cautious about the business-to-business market, but confident on the business-to-consumer category, in part due to an expected 30 percent rise this year in e-commerce deliveries.
Hachem did not identify which markets were slowing. Aramex operates across the world including Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.
Earlier on Monday, the company reported a 129 percent jump in fourth-quarter net profit. Full-year profit rose 37 percent to 426.6 million dirhams ($116.2 million) while revenue climbed 16 percent to 4.34 billion dirhams.
Quarterly profit grew sharply because of an impairment in the year earlier period, Hachem said, adding that on a normalised basis profit grew 27 percent.
Despite its cautious outlook, Aramex will continue looking at acquisitions in 2017 and is targeting opportunities in Asia, particularly in "last mile" services that connect a transport hub with the final destination for deliveries, Hachem said.
In July, Dubai billionaire Mohamed Alabbar led two investor groups that bought a combined 16.45 percent stake in Aramex, while Australia Post bought 4.5 percent of Aramex around the same time.
An industry source said at the time that was part of a strategy to build an e-commerce platform for the Arab world.
Alabbar has since announced two regional e-commerce sites, including Noon, which involves Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Hachem said on Monday Aramex was yet to reach a final agreement on how it would work with Alabbar's e-commerce sites.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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