GB Auto: The leading car distributor has decided not to renew distribution agreements signed with the Chinese Car Manufacturing Company, owner of the trademark Geely, “for strategic reasons”, according to a GB Auto statement.
Prior to the decision, the company held an exclusive licence to assemble and distribute Hyundai and Geely passenger cars, and it imports and distributes Hyundai, Geely, and Mazda cars, as well as spare parts for all three brands. It has been the sole distributor for Geely for nine years. A few days following the statement, Geely announced that it had finalised a deal with Abu Ghaly Motors to sell its cars in Egypt.
Geely also owns Volvo Cars in addition to a 49.9 per cent stake in Malaysia’s Proton and a 51 per cent stake in the British racing and sports car manufacturer Lotus. Abu Ghaly is the local distributor for a number of global auto brands, including Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, and Alfa Romeo.
GB Auto saw its revenues increase by 43 per cent year-on-year to reach LE14 billion during the first half of 2021 compared to the same half in 2020. “The increase in revenues reflected strengthening consumer demand and improving market conditions across the company’s lines of businesses as demand normalises following the Covid-19 pandemic,” Pharos, an investment firm, commented.
Swvl: The four-year-old transport start-up is making headlines. The company, which is based in Cairo and Dubai, last month merged with American Gambit Growth Capital, a move aimed to help the company list on the US Nasdaq exchange. It is also considering listing on the Egyptian Stock Exchange next year.
Swvl is an app through which customers can reserve bus rides along fixed routes. The company now operates in 10 cities in six countries and makes more than three million trips a month, a number it aims to increase to two million a day by 2025, Youssef Salem, the company’s chief financial officer, told Reuters last week.
“Swvl will turn profitable in 2024 after investments and operating costs of about $13 million. We then aim to earn more than $170 million in 2025,” Salem said.
With its capital expected to increase to $550 million upon the completion of its merger with Gambit by the end of the year, the company plans to expand to 30 cities in 20 countries over the course of four years. New targeted markets include southern and western Europe, Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, Salem said.
While the company projects revenues of $79 million this year, it puts its target for 2025 at $1 billion. Swvl currently operates in 10 cities in six countries, including Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kenya, and Pakistan.
Fawry for Banking Technology and Electronic Payments: The e-payments giant recorded an almost 60 per cent increase in its net profits for the first half of 2021 to reach LE137 million as compared with the same period a year earlier. This came on the back of the whopping 190 per cent increase in its revenues during the same period to reach LE742.5 million.
The company is set to buy the 15 per cent stake the Commercial International Bank (CIB) owns in Fawry Plus Banking Services, as well as a similar stake owned by the state-owned Banque Misr in the same subsidiary. The price of the shares in each of the deals is set at LE1.15 per share, putting each deal at LE16.2 million.
Fawry offers financial services to consumers and businesses through more than 225,000 locations. It enables customers to pay bills and other services through multiple channels, including online, using ATMs, mobile wallets, and retail points.
Orascom Development Egypt: The resort developer reported sales of LE1.9 billion during the second quarter of 2021, up by 43.1 per cent on its level a year ago. The year-on-year growth was supported by a 90.8 per cent increase in the number of units sold, totaling 292 units, together with an increase in the average selling prices for units in Gouna, Makadi Heights, and Qwest. Sales in Makadi Heights recorded a whopping 953 per cent increase.
The company’s hotels business generated revenues of LE160.5 million, which represents an 1,153 per cent surge from last year when hotels were closed from 19 March to 15 May followed by a period when they were allowed to operate at 25 per cent capacity that was later raised to 50 per cent on 1 June.
“The company owns a land bank of 49.9 million square metres and 23 hotels with a total of 4,949 rooms within four operating destinations: El Gouna on the Red Sea in Hurghada, Taba Heights on the Sinai Peninsula, Makadi Heights in Hurghada, and Bayoum in Fayoum”, according to its website.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 19 August, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly