President Faure Gnassingbé of Togo was joined by former British prime minister Tony Blair on Thursday to talk economic development at the Togo-UK Investment Summit in London.


Gnassingbé made his pitch to investors while announcing a new deal for a logistics hub in Lomé, after meeting with CEO Geoffrey White of Agility Africa, right, and signing letters of intent with key company officials. “It testifies to the vitality of the economic diplomacy of the Head of State and already illustrates the first tangible repercussions of his trip to London,” the presidency said in a statement.

Blair has worked closely with Togo through economic development consulting as Togo implements its National Development Plan (PND). Establishing the port at Lomé as a logistics hub on the Gulf of Guinea is a priority of the plan.

“This is a place that I think when you go and visit and get familiar with what the government’s trying to do,” Blair said, “and also the people of Togo themselves, I think you’ll be as excited as we have been to work there.”

Gnassingbé’s three-day visit to London also took him to the Invest Africa Annual Debate, where he showcased Togo’s PND plan and presented opportunities and incentives to investors. A previous stop took him to Chatham House, where he discussed West African security challenges.

The president’s London visit comes ahead of a Togo-European Union Economic Forum that begins June 13 in Lomé.

Read the original article on Africa Times.

Agility Reports Earnings Increase of 7.3% for First Quarter 2019

Q1 2019
Reported
(Million KD)
Q1 2018
Reported
(Million KD)
Variance
(%)
Q1 2019
Excluding
IFRS16

(Million KD)
Q1 2018
Reported
(Million KD)
Variance
(%)
Revenue 378.8 371.8 1.9% 378.8 371.8 1.9%
Net Revenue 123.9 124.6 -0.6% 123.3 124.6 -1.1%
EBITDA 46.3 37.7 22.8% 39.3 37.7 4.1%
Net Profit 20.3 18.9 7.3% 20.8 18.9 10.2%
EPS (fils) 12.19 11.36 7.3% 12.52 11.36 10.2%

Figures in the table above have been rounded

Kuwait – May 12, 2019: Agility, a leading global logistics provider, today reported first quarter earnings of KD 20.3 million, or 12.2 fils per share,  an increase of 7.3% from Q1 2018 (Excluding IFRS-16 Impact it will be an increase of 10.2%).  First-quarter revenue was KD 378.8 million, and EBITDA was KD 46.3 million, increases of 1.9% and 22.8%, respectively.

Agility Consolidated Results

“Again a good start for Agility this year, though we are witnessing an environment where growth is slowing.   We have seen good improvement across the board, and are accelerating our efforts to achieve our targets. On a reported basis, EBITDA increased 22.8% and net profit improved 7.3%,” said Agility Vice Chairman and CEO Tarek Sultan.

Sultan said Agility’s core logistics business, Agility GIL, continues making significant and important investments in digital transformation that will position it for long-term success and differentiation in the market. He said Agility continues also to invest in its Infrastructure group companies, each of which is pursuing a growth strategy.

Agility Global Integrated Logistics

Excluding IFRS16 impact, Agility GIL reported Q1 EBITDA of KD 6.8 million, a 9% decrease compared to the same period a year earlier, the drop is attributable to costs associated with GIL’s digital transformation and commercial investments.

Agility GIL first-quarter revenue was KD 275 million, a decrease of 1.1% from KD 278.1 million in the same period a year earlier.  Q1 GIL revenue was affected by currency fluctuations. On a constant currency basis, GIL revenue increased 3.4% vs. the same period a year earlier. Net revenue increased to KD 65.4 million, a 1.2% increase over Q1 2018 (excluding the IFRS-16 impact). The net revenue increase was driven primarily by Ocean Freight and Contract Logistics, offsetting decreases in Project Logistics and Road Freight.  On a constant currency basis, GIL net revenue growth was 5.1%. GIL’s overall Q1 net revenue margin was 23.8% against a 23.3% a year earlier.

Air Freight tonnage grew 5.2% in Q1 2019; Air Freight grew across multiple trade lanes and sales channels with very strong performance from strategic customers.

Ocean Freight net revenue performance was driven primarily by yield improvement and TEU growth of 2.3%. GIL had stable Ocean Freight performance across geographies and sales channels with volume growth primarily from strategic accounts.

Q1 Contract Logistics performance was strong, with revenue growth of 3.6%. The Middle East/Africa region (mainly Kuwait, Dubai, Egypt) was the key driver of growth and improved margins.

GIL’s digital strategy involves the development of systems and technology that will improve productivity, differentiate its products, and position it as the industry’s leading innovator.  By accelerating its digital transformation, GIL will enhance customer and supplier connectivity, create innovative customer solutions, increase the efficiency of its business processes, and enable comprehensive business insight.

Agility’s Infrastructure Companies

The Infrastructure group reported EBITDA of KD 32.5 million (excluding IFRS 16 impact), an increase of 7.4% in Q1, on a revenue increase of 10.7%.  Agility is investing in these companies to drive its future growth.

Agility Logistics Parks (ALP) reported 23% revenue growth for the quarter, an increase that resulted from strong performance at new facilities completed in late 2018, as well as yield improvement at existing facilities. In Kuwait, ALP’s focus is driving the efficiency of existing assets and identifying new opportunities based on market demand. ALP expects to deliver 150K sqm of warehousing space this year, mainly in Saudi Arabia and Africa. It expects to begin construction of another 275K sqm of warehousing space to be delivered in 2020/21.  With respect to Africa, ALP is currently developing 68K sqm of new facilities in Ghana, Mozambique and Ivory Coast, with another 36k sqm opening in Nigeria at the end of the year and a planned further 100k sqm opening during 2020.

Tristar, a fully integrated liquid logistics company, posted 13.3% revenue growth in Q1, the main drivers for this growth are road transport and warehousing operations, in addition to the shipping business. Tristar continues to grow its business with existing customers as well as expand its customer and geographical reach. In the first quarter, Tristar signed a five-year charter contract with Shell – with five optional years – to deliver six medium-range products tankers by 2020.

National Aviation Services (NAS), the fastest growing aviation services provider in the emerging markets, grew revenue 3.5% in the first quarter of 2019. NAS continues on its strategic road map to expand and be the leader in Africa.

NAS Cote d’Ivoire delivered double-digit growth; Egypt improved significantly with the launch of a new lounge in Cairo; and Tanzania and Morocco are delivering on their turn-around plans. NAS Uganda is slightly below projections due to a decrease in UN business and commercial flights but is expected to rebound.

At United Projects for Aviation Services Company (UPAC), a leading real estate and facilities management company operating in Kuwait, revenue declined 9.2%, primarily due to the shift of some airline traffic to dedicated terminals, along with a reduction in the number of flights operating out of Sheikh Saad Terminal.

In February 2019, UPAC formally started operations in Terminal 4 (T4), the new dedicated Kuwait Airways terminal. UPAC has a new five-year contract to manage the car parks and related facilities in T4. In Abu Dhabi, construction continues to progress steadily on Reem Mall, the $1.2 billion project set to become the new retail and leisure attraction in the emirate. Reem Mall is scheduled to open in late 2020. UPAC continues to optimize its existing real estate management platform in Kuwait and expand its presence in Kuwait and the region.

GCS, Agility’s customs modernization company, posted revenue growth of 6.8%, driven by increased trade activity in Kuwait. GCS also added new services and continues implementing initiatives to drive efficiency and improve profitability.

Reported Financial Performance for the first quarter of 2019 (including IFRS 16 impact)

Closing

“We have a clear and consistent strategy that is translating into year-on-year improvements. We are also off to a good start in 2019. Agility is going to substantially invest in business transformation to drive operational excellence for the future,” Sultan said.

IATA certification shows ability to meet highest industry standards 

MUMBAI, India – May 7, 2019 – Agility, a leading global logistics provider, has been awarded the IATA’s Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification for pharmaceutical logistics for its Mumbai, India operations.

The certification, by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), demonstrates Agility’s ability to ensure the integrity of pharmaceutical products throughout the supply chain, and to manage high-value, temperature-sensitive shipments for the pharma and life science industries. In India, Agility provides supply chain services, including management of temperature-controlled shipments, to some of the leading pharmaceutical brands.

The certification process was completed in coordination with the Chhattrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai India.

Krishnakumar V., Chief Operating Officer, Agility India, said: “The CEIV Pharma certification demonstrates our ability to meet the most exacting standards in the industry. We continue investing in technology, infrastructure, personnel and processes to ensure an unbroken cold chain for pharma shipments for our customers and their patients.”

Eric ten Kate, Vice President, Agility Global Life Sciences, said: “If you earn the CEIV Pharma Certification, shippers know they can trust that medicines you handle will reach patients safely and securely.”

In India, Agility manages life sciences facilities at the Nhava Shava Seaport and at Hyderabad Airport, providing temperature-controlled solutions for customers with both ocean and air shipments. Agility recently launched Agility+, a shipment box for the pharmaceutical industry that keeps strict temperature levels for up to 120 hours, and provides users with real-time visibility of temperature status and location.

About Agility

Agility Global Integrated Logistics is one of the world’s top freight forwarders and providers of contract logistics. It offers ocean, air and road freight, warehousing and distribution, and integrated supply chain services in more than 100 countries. Agility GIL also provides specialist solutions for capital projects, oil and gas, chemicals, and fairs and events logistics. GIL and its parent, Agility, are pioneers in emerging markets, and leaders and investors in the use of technology to enhance supply chain efficiency. Agility is a publicly traded company with $5.1 billion in annual revenue.

Continued logistics partner for prestigious Porsche Motorsports racing series

SINGAPORE – May 1, 2019 – Agility has signed a two-year logistics partnership agreement with Porsche Motorsports for the eight-weekend Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) racing series.

Agility Fairs & Events has been the official logistics partner for the PCCA since 2016. With this partnership, Agility will handle the movement of all cars for the series, organizing shipping, transport and handling of the race cars across Asia-Pacific, as well as spare parts support from Porsche Germany to race sites in Asia-Pacific.

Essa Al-Saleh, President and CEO, Agility Global Integrated Logistics, said: “Our longstanding partnership with the PCCA demonstrates our ability to meet the pressures of race-day conditions, and also shows our strong capacities in automotive logistics – a key vertical for Agility. We’ve been able to meet the exacting requirements of Porsche Motorsports and the teams competing in the past, and will continue to provide high level of service over the course of the partnership.”

Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Manager Jochen Schäfer said: “Fantastic co-operation, the ability to react and adapt instantly in the fast-paced Motorsport environment makes Agility the number one choice to handle the logistics side of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. We are more than happy to partner up for another two years thanks to their proven track record of exceptional service and enthusiastic support.”

The 2019 edition of the PCCA series opened with an official test day March 22 – 24, followed by the first race on April 12-14 in Shanghai, China, and will have 15 30-minute rounds held at six circuits across Asia.

Company’s built-to-suit warehouses selected as national winner

KUWAIT – April 18, 2019 – Agility, a leading global logistics provider, has been selected as the Kuwait national winner in the Industrial Project of the Year category at the 2019 MEED Projects Awards, presented in association with Mashreq.

Agility Logistics Parks received the award for its ‘4 BTS Warehouse’ project for one of the largest retail companies in Kuwait. The built-to-suit warehouses covered over 70,000 sqm of warehouse floor space and were completed in a 12-month timeframe, including design and construction.

Michel Saab, CEO of Agility Logistics Parks, said: “Agility has significant experience designing and building logistics parks and warehouses around the world. Our experience means we were well-placed to deliver this large scale project to our customer. Winning this award further solidifies our strong market position as a leader in building and managing world-class facilities and infrastructure that help companies operate in the world’s fastest-growing markets.”

During the design phase of the project, Agility took into consideration measures to minimize water and electricity usage to the minimum. The warehouse was outfitted with LED lighting and water sensors, and excess water from air conditioning units was reused for irrigation. In addition, the design and execution of warehouse’s slab flooring used steel fibers and jointless slabs to minimize maintenance costs and possible operation disruptions for the customer.

Richard Thompson, Editorial Director, MEED, said: “This year the judging panel reviewed a record number of entries from across the GCC, which affirms yet again the robust projects market in the region, amidst the challenging business landscape. Competition has been tough, and it’s great to see a strong commitment not just in completing projects, but also in meeting very stringent quality standards. Congratulations to all our national winners.”

Agility’s 4 BTS Warehouses project will now be reviewed against its Gulf rivals for the GCC honors to determine the final winners of the 2019 MEED Projects Awards.

Geoffrey White, CEO at Agility Africa, speaks to CNBC Africa at the Africa CEO Forum in Kigali at the end of March. Agility is building warehouses and logistics parks to suit a variety of needs across Africa – watch the full interview to find out more.

Mariam Al Foudery, Agility Group Chief Marketing Officer, joins a panel at the World Economic Forum on MENA 2019 about what’s needed to unlock the full potential of Arab women. By 2025, the market power of women’s increased participation in the workforce could add an estimated $2.7 trillion to the region’s economy. New policies are coming into force to bring about societal change, what else is needed?

This session is associated with the Platform for Shaping the Future of Economic Progress, Education, Gender and Employment and was originally broadcast at the World Economic Forum on MENA 2019.

Kuwait’s brightest tech minds competing to solve real-life problems

KUWAIT – March 24, 2019 – Agility, a leading global logistics provider, is collaborating with the MIT Media Lab to host a four-day competition that opened Sunday and challenges teams of Kuwaiti tech students, coders and entrepreneurs to solve real-world societal and business problems.

The Data Agility Hackathon will be co-hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, one of the world’s pioneering interdisciplinary research laboratories. Experts from the MIT Media Lab are coaching 50 Hackathon participants working in teams of 10 to find ways to crack issues faced by consumers, businesses and the government.

Hackathon competitors will use high-powered tools to analyze data provided by Agility and Kuwait’s Public Authority for Civil Information. Among the questions they will examine:

Thinkers and representatives from Kuwaiti ministries, universities, businesses, banks, technology innovators, start-up accelerators and foundations also are taking part. The data used by the teams includes satellite imaging, Kuwait traffic information, location-based data, and warehousing and freight data.

Tarek Sultan, Agility CEO & Vice Chairman, said: “The Data Agility Hackathon brings a new generation of Kuwaiti problem-solvers together to learn, grow, and use their skills to improve life. We are trying to foster a collaborative, creative mentality and develop the skills critical to the future of Kuwait and its citizens.”

Ryan McCarthy, Director of Member Relations at the MIT Media Lab, said: “Hackathons bring together intellect, creativity and the latest technology tools to address unique regional challenges. We’re enthusiastic about bringing our interdisciplinary approach to design, prototyping and problem-solving to this event.”

Sunday’s opening ceremony featured remarks from U.S. Ambassador Lawrence Silverman; Dr. Youssef Al-Ibrahim, Chairman of the Supervisory Committee of Kuwait Achievers for Future Opportunities (KAFO) Project; and Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi, a Kuwaiti doctoral candidate at the MIT Media Lab. The opening was followed by a panel discussion on the trends and implications of data science, automation and data privacy.

Dr. Al-Ibrahim said: “Following the vision and direction of His Highness, the Amir to continue to empower the youth of Kuwait, we initiated KAFO following the national youth project. It is our mission at KAFO to identify young talent and connect them to others so that they can learn and collaborate as part of our role in contributing to the knowledge economy. We are proud to be part of this advanced program which promotes problem solving through innovation to enable youth in building the future.”

Agility has been a member of the MIT Media Lab since 2017. The Data Agility Hackathon is supported by the Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences and KAFO.

Official freight and on-site handler for industry-leading leisure event

LONDON – March. 12, 2019 – Agility, a leading global logistics provider, has been appointed as the official freight and on-site handling contractor for International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo Europe show.

Agility Fairs & Events will assist IAAPA Expo Europe exhibitors and contractors with international logistics services, including freight forwarding, pre- and post-show warehouse handling, and forklift and heavy lift operations to and from the exhibition.

Organized by IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, Expo Europe 2019 is the leisure and attractions event in Europe for industry professionals, including operators, suppliers, manufacturers, investors, developers, and others in the global amusement community. The event, which takes place  Sept. 16 – 19, will be held at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.

Jakob Wahl, Executive Director, IAAPA EMEA, said: “The new partnership with Agility will allow IAAPA Expo Europe exhibitors options to handle freight at fair rates. Our exhibitors come to the Expo from around the world, and we are sure Agility will meet all of their needs.”

Garcia Newell, Regional Director, Agility Fairs & Events Europe, said: “Having been the nominated shippers and customs brokers for IAAPA Expo in the United States for over 30 years, we are excited to bring our experience, global capabilities and customer care to this year’s event in Paris.”

About Agility

Agility Global Integrated Logistics is one of the world’s top freight forwarders and providers of contract logistics. It offers ocean, air and road freight, warehousing and distribution, and integrated supply chain services in more than 100 countries. Agility GIL also provides specialist solutions for capital projects, oil and gas, chemicals, and fairs and events logistics. GIL and its parent, Agility, are pioneers in emerging markets, and leader and investors in the use of technology to enhance supply chain efficiency.  Agility is a publicly traded company with $4.6 billion in annual revenue.

For more information about Agility, visit www.agility.com
Twitter: twitter.com/agility
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/agility
YouTube: youtube.com/user/agilitycorp

About IAAPA

IAAPA is a diverse and dynamic community of global attractions professionals. As the largest international trade association for permanently located attractions, IAAPA unifies the attractions community, connects people to learn and grow together, and strives to promote the highest professional standards for excellence and safety around the world.

Founded in 1918, IAAPA represents more than 6,000 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 100 countries. Members include professionals from amusement parks, theme parks, attractions, water parks, resorts, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, science centers, museums, manufacturers, and suppliers.

The association’s global headquarters is in Orlando, Florida, US. IAAPA also maintains offices in Brussels, Belgium; Hong Kong, China; Shanghai, China; Mexico City, Mexico; and Alexandria, Virginia, US. To learn more, visit www.IAAPA.org or connect through social media channels: @IAAPAHQ @IAAPAEMEA #IAAPA.

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