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Kuwait’s Agility seeks $150m cost saving to tackle virus

Kuwait’s Agility seeks $150m cost saving to tackle virus

The CEO said that the virus has also opened up opportunities for the company related to digital logistics and technology

Agility Public Warehousing Co. is seeking to save more than $150m as the Kuwait-based logistics company tackles the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The firm put in place measures “including reduction in spend, personnel measures, and other steps to adjust costs in various business lines to realities on the ground,” chief executive officer Tarek Sultan said in an interview.

Agility “made the right sizing and any changes that are needed to make our businesses consistent and relevant to the current world that we’re in.”

Although there have been job losses, it would be “illogical” for Agility to restrict hiring, particularly as some of its businesses are growing and others may come back online quickly, Sultan said. “We would be looking to grow those businesses and maybe leverage the opportunity that Covid presents by being able to attract even better people.”

Still, Sultan said the virus has also opened up opportunities for the company related to digital logistics and technology.

“There are a few instances of projects that we might look to slow down, but I doubt that they will impact our overall capital expenditure numbers,” he said. “If anything, there could be an opportunity to expand them because of new opportunities presented by this environment.”

Sultan also said:

  • Agility is strongly positioned to take advantages of e-commerce opportunities in the region
  • Shift in more retail customers going online means more expansion, future investment
  • There are no concrete plans to list Agility anywhere else, but company is open to new ideas
  • Discussions continue over the listing of its United Arab Emirates-based unit Tristar; all options are on the table
  • Agility still assessing overall financial impact for 2020. “There are so many unknowns and I think it’s very unclear to everyone how this year, and beyond, will pan out”
  • Company needs to balance cash flow with the quality of future opportunities

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