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Wed 4 Mar 2015 10:22 AM

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Dubai's Aramex proposes 14% cash dividend for 2014

Logistics firm is predicting a 10% profit rise in 2015, following a 15% rise to $86m last year

Dubai's Aramex proposes 14% cash dividend for 2014

Dubai logistics firm Aramex said on Wednesday its
board had proposed a cash dividend of 14 percent or AED0.14 per share for 2014,
up from AED0.115 it paid a year earlier.

Last month, the firm's CEO predicts a 10 percent
profit rise in 2015.

The figure will depend on the impact of oil prices
and the euro, Hussein Hachem told a press conference in Dubai, while adding he
believed a further drop in oil prices would contribute to an estimated 5-10
percent reduction in the firm’s freight costs.

Aramex unveiled its 2014 financial results last
month, reporting a net profit of AED318 million ($86 million), up 15 percent
from AED278 million in 2013.

Its fourth quarter net profit was up 17 percent on
the previous quarter, to AED89.4 million.

Chief financial officer Bashar Obeid told reporters
Aramex was in discussions with a consortium of local banks and preparing to
sign for a $150 million five-year loan with a six-month draw-down in the next
10 days.

The debt will be used to finance new acquisitions
and further expansion following an acquisitive year in 2014.

Aramex bought the master franchise for South
African retailer PostNet in October for $16.5 million and Australian courier
service Mail Call Couriers in June.

It is targeting three acquisitions in 2015, in key
growth markets including Africa – particularly Nigeria – Asia and elsewhere in
the GCC, Hachem said.

The firm would seek to buy “someone who looks like
us and complements our model”, he added, but declined to reveal further

He also said Aramex would seek to rationalise its
portfolio of logistics warehouses in 2015 either through disposals or sales and
leasebacks to remain as lean as possible. It owns around 300,000 square metres
of property across the GCC.

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