Kerry Logistics ups China focus, looks overseas

As the global air freight markets continue to recover, Kerry Logistics – armed with a US$200 million war chest – is eyeing aquisitions in the Americas, Europe and Asia, but its core strategy remains the same: To be the logistics provider of choice for companies entering the China market. Wong Joon San writes.

Kerry Logistics ups China focus looks overseas

When George Yeo Yong-boon, who became Kerry Logistics Network Ltd chairman in August 2012 and the company’s executive director in November 2013, outlined the company’s expansion plans, it is quite apparent why he was so excited. Yeo, who served for 23 years in the Singapore government from 1988 to 2011 with Ministerial portfolios in Finance, Arts, Health, Trade & Industry and Foreign Affairs, points out that despite the weak global economic conditions, Kerry Logistics is forging ahead with its network development.

“Our capability was proven by our solid growth facing adverse market conditions. For future development, our strength lies in our capability to provide integrated value-adding services to our clients and to help them penetrate the China market,” Yeo says. “Our unique asset-based model has given us more resilience against cost inflation,” he told Payload Asia in an interview.

This resilience is clearly evidenced in Kerry Logistics’ HK$1.84 billion (US$237 million) net attributable profit to shareholders for the year ended 31 December 2013, representing a 71.7 per cent increase compared with the HK$1.07 billion net attributable profit in 2012.

With solid result and a healthy war chest thanks to a successful IPO which saw Kerry Logistics raise HK$2.38 billion in total net proceeds, the company is ready to ramp up the growth. The company used HK$822.2 million of this amount for repaying part of the loans from a fellow subsidiary controlled by Kerry Properties Ltd (KPL), Yeo said, adding that the remaining net proceeds will be used for the development of logistics facilities, potential acquisitions and general corporate purpose.