Letter from the CEO
“Our history and story are inextricably linked to the communities in which we operate.”
Aramex today is a household name across our core markets and we couldn’t be more proud. Our story continues with yet another year of steady progress – a year in which we continued to identify new opportunities, advance our business model, improve efficiencies and invest in growth. All while delivering value to you.
This new fiscal year, we are committed to building further on the clear momentum that we now enjoy. 2014 was a milestone year for Aramex. Despite challenging global market conditions, we are very proud that for a decade we have consecutively delivered record profits, ever since listing on the Dubai Financial Market. In 2014, we recorded AED 3,650 million of revenues, up by 10% compared to AED 3,325 million the previous year. Our net profits grew by 15% to AED 318.4 million, driven by robust growth primarily in international express and supply chain services across our key geographies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Our performance was powered by solid revenue growth, particularly in international and domestic express, as well as the continued expansion of our innovative e-commerce platform across key growth markets in the Middle East and Asia. While the GCC remained the largest contributor to our revenues, our Asia-Pacific and Africa businesses also gained momentum.
Although we have had a record year, we still believe that numbers do not tell the entire story. Our business initiatives are always informed by our larger vision of supporting greater trade in emerging market trade corridors. In 2014, we laid the groundwork to boost future profitability by making some critical strategic predictions. We think these will help set us apart, and increase the value we bring to our customers.
The way we see it, our future growth will be based on thinking and acting differently, on embracing change as our customers and markets change. There is no denying we live in an era where technology transforms and influences our daily lives more than ever before. Increasingly, consumers rely on digital connectivity, using it to enhance their lifestyles. This in turn challenges our capacity to serve them better. Every consumer engagement we make – whether through our couriers, call centers, social media, website or new services and products – needs to adapt to that reality.
To that end, we are investing strategically to harness the power of technology in a variety of ways. These mean not only listening to and understanding our clients, but also serving them more effectively and efficiently. Identifying trends such as these will help us grow. It is essential that we set the right priorities for achieving growth. This applies to everything from innovation to investments and acquisitions, and the systematic tapping of attractive markets.
This is why services related to e-commerce will also continue to be the key theme of Aramex’s business expansion, supported by our strategic investments in technology. Both the Asia-Pacific and African e-commerce markets are on rapid growth trajectories. Consumers across these regions are purchasing an increasing number of goods and products online from overseas markets, presenting us with significant logistics opportunities. This trend is further powered by rising populations, and increased ease of internet access. We will continue to invest in these regions to support their e-commerce growth.
In 2014 we added to our capabilities through acquisitions and partnerships, a strategy we will continue to pursue over the next few years. We have invested in businesses that are aligned with our core strengths, and that also truly complement our business. In 2014, we aggressively pursued strategic acquisitions not only in our key growth markets of Asia-Pacific and Africa, but also in more developed markets within other regions. With InPost, we will enable consumers across the Middle East and Africa to access private automated parcel lockers for all e-commerce activities; a revolutionary concept for the region. This not only lets us offer more ‘last-mile’ delivery solutions, but also enhances the overall customer service experience for online shoppers. Mail Call Couriers made our portfolio stronger, giving us important, technology-driven delivery capabilities and reach in metropolitan markets in Australia, while Leo Global Logistics and PostNet helped us to expand our reach in Asia and Africa respectively.
Both Asia and Africa will continue to play important roles in Aramex’s aggressive expansion plans across emerging markets. The Asia-Pacific region is home to over 4.2 billion people, and accounts for nearly 60% of the world’s population. Today, the region is the main driver of worldwide logistics growth, and is also at the center of the global e-commerce boom: on course to become the world’s largest region for online retail sales. According to some estimates, 46% of global online buyers currently come from the Asia-Pacific region. Africa also continues to be a vital strategic growth market for Aramex. In 2014, we significantly strengthened our footprint in key African markets by making new acquisitions, expanding our franchisee network and fully integrating our operations with our global network. Going forward, we believe Aramex has a real opportunity to support Africa’s efforts to improve its infrastructure, expand distribution networks and enhance mobility – ultimately contributing to larger economic goals.
Our history and story are inextricably linked to the communities in which we operate. We have always understood the importance of community involvement, the need to build sustainable partnerships with local organizations, and our responsibility to respect the environment through responsible building practices and energy conservation. This approach has enabled us to create effective partnerships with communities, social entrepreneurs, governments, NGOs and corporations across the globe. Currently, 90% of our locations are involved in sustainability initiatives and projects. We are proud of our efforts, and this year report on the GRI G4 standard for the second time. Meanwhile the rest of the region has yet to catch up.
The future is promising in large part because we have a culture where innovation can thrive. We understand that creating a workplace that celebrates diversity and encourages open dialogue is essential to achieving our core business goals and objectives. I have always maintained that our success is built on a strong global team. I know I have a team behind me that is dependable, steady and highly-motivated, and I would like to extend my special thanks to all the men and women who make this company perform – and succeed – every day. Their dedication and resourcefulness are inspiring.
Aramex’s growth strategy, built on the foundation of our corporate values, will drive our development. We are confident in our vision, our strategy and the future. We will continue to both invest in our people, technology and infrastructure, and also to implement innovative solutions to satisfy our customers’ evolving needs, while still delivering maximum value to our stakeholders and maintaining our partnerships with local communities. With our 16,000-strong workforce of talented and dedicated individuals, we strive to enable every country, company and person in the world to have easy access and further reach to trade and commerce, ultimately fulfilling needs and creating prosperity.
I would like to thank all our stakeholders for their continuous support during our incredible journey. I hope you share our excitement about the company’s path and the opportunity that, together, we share.
Chief Executive Officer