March 25 - Agility has reported profits of US$526 million in 2008, compared to US$531 million in 2007, while revenue rose 16 percent to US$6.8 billion.

"Even though we began to feel the impact of the global economic crisis in our commercial business in the fourth quarter of 2008 as world trade volumes slowed, Agility was able to achieve strong profits which helped enhance our balance sheet position," said Tarek Sultan, chairman and managing director of Agility, in a statement.

"Agility believes that the ongoing financial crisis has created unique opportunities for forging new partnerships and acquiring assets on the basis of attractive and previously unobtainable business terms."

Mr Sultan further emphasized: "We look to come out of the global downturn stronger than ever. We have an excellent cash position, healthy debt profile, a diversified customer base and an established footprint in the emerging markets that offer the most potential for future growth."

The company said it had cash reserves of US$919 million and debts of US$581 million at the end of 2008, while its asset base grew 6 percent to US$6 billion.

In the project forwarding environment, the company is expecting 2009 to be a good year in China as the major projects are already funded and in progress.

Agility's global integrated logistics division, which accounted for 59 percent of the company's revenue, saw revenue grow at a slightly higher rate17 percentthan the company overall. It's other major division, defence and government services, had revenue growth of 13 percent.