Letter from the CEO
“Despite ongoing challenging global market conditions, we are very proud to have delivered our ninth consecutive year of record profits since listing on the Dubai Financial Market.”
- Hussein Hachem, Chief Executive Officer
2013 was yet another very successful year for Aramex. Despite ongoing challenging global market conditions, we are very proud to have delivered our ninth consecutive year of record profits since listing on the Dubai Financial Market. In 2013, we recorded AED 3,325 million of revenues, up by 8% compared to AED 3,072 million in the previous year. Our net profits grew by 14% to AED 278 million, driven by robust growth primarily in international express and supply chain services across our key geographies in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, which remain to be significant markets to our growth and a real competitive differentiator for our brand, with the GCC being our largest contributor of revenues to the Group. Therefore we are currently investing over USD100 million in our Dubai Logistics Center, and in our operations in Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Africa is also a very exciting investment destination for us. It is the second fastest growing region in the world, with favourable demographics and annual GDP growth that is expected to average 7% over the next 20 years. We are proactively strengthening our footprint in key African markets through new acquisitions, franchising and full integration of our operations with our global network.
One of the appealing features of African economic development has been the related expansion of Africa-Middle East trade corridors, with African exports to the Middle East now exceeding USD 21billion and Middle East exports to Africa exceeding USD 38billion. The growing trade corridors between Africa and other emerging markets, such as the Middle East and Asia, will provide increasing opportunities for businesses to export and import goods, and is important for the growth of Aramex’s business as we are in an ideal position to capitalise on these trends and support our clients to build their businesses across these trade routes.
We have consistently been able to deliver results because our focus on identifying and gaining advantage of current and future global trends has always been based on our long-standing belief in generating long-term, sustainable revenues. Our company was founded on entrepreneurship and empowerment and we remain true to our roots by consistently nurturing and enabling the entrepreneurial environment of the company by empowering our ‘frontliners’ through creating a culture that celebrates experimentation and initiatives that enable innovation.
In 2014 we believe the global economic environment will slowly improve through the year, which will in turn drive an increase in trade corridor development- particularly across the Middle East, Africa and Asia- which will support our business across these markets. As a result, we are confident of carrying our strong performance from last year into 2014. We will be actively pursuing acquisitions across the Middle East, Africa and Asia trade routes and will also keep capitalising on the shifting global B2C trends from traditional retail to online, further developing and strengthening our e-commerce services.
Our growth and success will constantly be driven by the knowledge, expertise and contributions of our people. We also strongly value the diversity of our employees and believe that the more diverse we are, the better equipped we are to deliver great service. In 2013, we saw a 2% increase in total number of employees at Aramex and today we have 87 different nationalities represented at Aramex. We are committed to cultivating talent and we keep investing in the development of our people; our training programs, focused on our code of conduct, compliance and governance this year covered 87% of our employees. We also always seek to recruit talent from regions and markets where we are active, which makes us more responsive and flexible and is what truly helps us build mutually beneficial relationships with partners, clients and communities.
Our expansion in emerging markets and the extension of our services to more locations close to local customers brings our role as a corporate citizen to a true global scale. Our aspiration of being a responsible corporate citizen is based on understanding mutual needs and expectations in our relationships with local communities. We are convinced that increased integration with the local community through the engagement of our local employees results in mutual benefits for the society and Aramex. We are committed to using our resources to protecting the environment, advancing education, and enriching community life wherever we operate. Our sustainability spending reached 2% of pre-tax profit in 2013 and we currently have projects in more than 70% of the countries we operate in. This year, we have also introduced various environmental initiatives in all our stations worldwide to engage our employees and enable them to contribute to our global efforts to reduce our carbon footprint everywhere we operate.
We are proud of our efforts and this year we are reporting on the new GRI G4 standard for the first time – paving the way for other companies in the region.
The success of our business goes beyond the generation of sustainable revenues. Aramex drives global connectivity and deepens trade links through the support we provide our clients in moving their goods and products to markets. This vital logistical service that we provide is playing an increasingly important role in the growth of our local economies, helping connect some of the world’s most exciting and rapidly developing countries and regions and helping the development of some of the world’s most important trade corridors. We clearly understand the role we can play in facilitating economic growth and we want to ensure that we remain an integral, efficient and reliable component of emerging market trade flows and we are absolutely committed to ensuring we stay at the very heart of future growth.
Chief Executive Officer