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Logistics powerhouse enjoys exceptional growth

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Logistics and supply chain leader Imperial Logistics has grown its revenue from R18 billion to R22 billion for the financial year ended 30 June 2014. Chief business development officer Cobus Rossouw attributes the group’s 22% growth - along with a 38% increase in operating profit - to its successful consolidation that is now bearing fruit.

“Imperial Logistics has started to reap the rewards of the consolidation process that we embarked on last year. By simplifying our business and honing in on our capabilities, we have successfully established leaders beyond reproach that have delivered major contracts in the year under review,” Rossouw states.

The absence of any major industrial action during this financial year, along with a number of significant acquisitions and the continued expansion of Imperial Logistics’ African footprint, also contributed to the group’s excellent results, he adds.

“Imperial Health Sciences, which Imperial acquired in 2013, has gone from strength to strength. The company has been extended with our recent acquisition of pharmaceutical wholesaler Pharmed and a 68% stake in Eco Health, a leading pharmaceutical distributor in Nigeria.

"Our aim is to build a strong, focused, integrated and independent healthcare supply chain company that will not only enable Imperial to pursue opportunities that have developed in this rapidly changing market, but will also yield benefits for hospitals, pharmacies, doctors and patients. Through our interest in Eco Health,Imperial can now offer customers the huge competitive advantage of an end-to-end capability that encompasses warehousing, logistics, distribution and brand building in this high growth industry and region.”

Imperial Logistics’ southern African distributors (which are part of group company CIC Holdings) have, in the year under review, also continued to grow their market share and pursue new opportunities, to boost Imperial’s financial performance, he expands.

Also beginning to show promise in southern Africa is Imperial Managed Logistics’ growth strategy in the region. “For clients moving their goods into several African markets, the unique Imperial Managed Logistics’ operating model has big advantages for clients who can now deal with a single point of contact in determining the best possible solution for their specific cross-border needs.” This new, asset light and customer focused approach to transport is redefining customer and supplier relationships, as well as transport supply and demand.

Outlining some of the other successful business models behind the profitable performances turned in by new group companies, Rossouw says:“The benefits of a multi-party scaled operation are reflected in Imperial Retail Logistics’ approach, which sees clients clustered together to boost logistics efficiency and bring costs down by capitalising on economies of scale, co-loading and the optimal utilisation of warehouse space and resources. Confectionary is one focus area for the company, and our confectionary clients are all benefiting from Imperial’s investment in the specialised skills and resources to succeed in this testing sector.”

New operation Resolve, which was also unveiled in 2013, and represents the merging of group companies Volition and e-Logics and their associated businesses, has also achieved significant contract gains this year. “Resolve is delivering on its goal to bring Imperial Logistics a bigger chunk of the business process and technology outsourcing market,” Rossouw reports.

The industrial Logistics business, which services the manufacturing, mining, commodities, chemicals and construction industries likewise performed well, despite trading in a difficult economic environment, where the volumes were under pressure and the market was competitive. “The business benefited from restructuring initiatives and delivered growth through contract gains and operational efficiencies,” Rossouw explains, adding that the newly acquired KWS Carriers contributed positively and is performing in line with expectations. KWS is a managed logistics business focused on the movement of bulk commodities from source to the end users and ports utilising mainly dedicated contracted vehicles.

Looking ahead, Rossouw says that while the group is circumspect about the economic climate, he is confident that Imperial Logistics’ will continue to contribute to the competiveness of its clients. ”We will leverage our unrivalled capabilities to continue to deliver growth,” he concludes.

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