April 12 - Logistics major Agility posted an 11 percent increase in net profits over the course of last year, while revenues slipped by seven percent during the same period.

However, revenues in the last quarter picked up by one percent, which Agility said was evidence of a strong finish to the year.

Full-year operating profits rose by five percent to USD585 million. The company also managed to reduce its debt by 76 percent to USD135m.

The delayed announcement of 2009 results come during a time of uncertainty for the company, which is embroiled in a controversial dispute with the US Department of Justice over allegations that the company overcharged on governmental contracts to supply US troops in Iraq.

In its results announcement, Agility warned that it ... "continues its discussions with the US government with the view to resolving the current legal cases with the US Department of Justice. However, there is no guarantee that the parties can reach a mutually agreeable settlement."

"2009 was a mixed year for Agility," said Agility chairman and managing director Tarek Sultan. "On one hand, the company was able to report solid operational profits, continue to grow its emerging market footprint, and attract a number of important new customers around the world. This is particularly significant given a global financial crisis that hit the logistics industry hard overall. "On the other hand, Agility is facing a number of challenges, including the slower-than-expected recovery from the global economic recession, the troop drawdown in Iraq, and the ongoing legal issues," Sultan added.