Imperial Logistics Seeks Partner for African Freight Growth

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(Bloomberg) -- Imperial Logistics Ltd. is looking to expand into air and sea transportation as the Africa-focused logistics group offers more services to multinationals with sales on the continent.

The Johannesburg-based company delivers goods for the likes of U.K. drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Dutch brewer Heineken NV mainly via land routes to countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Now, it wants to add the ability to pick up products from manufacturing sites in Asia to complete the supply chain.

The lack of freight operations is “leaving that margin on the table,” Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Akoojee said in a phone interview on Tuesday. Options include an acquisition, a joint venture or integrating with a third party, he said.

The shares extended gains after Akoojee’s comments, gaining 8.9% to 51.86 rand at the close in Johannesburg, a two-month high.

The CEO was speaking after Imperial Logistics reported its first full-year earnings since spinning off an automotive business, now known as Motus Holdings Ltd., in November last year. The company has been cutting costs in Europe and South Africa to position itself as a “gateway to Africa” for consumer-goods and pharmaceuticals firms.

“Africa is a young, vibrant, growing consumer market,” said Akoojee, who took the top job at the start of February. “We give the likes of GSK and Heineken access to points of sale.”

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with about 200 million people, is a particularly attractive country, he added.

Imperial also announced new growth targets for the year through June 2020, including a low-double-digit rise in operating profit.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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