The contract is for supply-chain services and processing of European goods headed to the Middle East.
The deal, which is expected to boost the Larnaca-based company’s turnover by about $1.5 million a year, has also helped create 100 jobs in related services, such as transport and packaging, hiring from the pool of the record unemployed in Cyprus.
“Al Futtaim is our first major Middle East client and this project is our biggest in terms of revenue and staff,” Eurofreight Logistics www.eurofreight.com CEO George Papachristodoulou told the Financial Mirror.
“This strategic cooperation justifies our years of efforts that Cyprus can serve as a strategic trans-shipment hub,” he added.
Al-Futtaim Logistics is a leading Middle Eastern regional provider of supply chain solutions based in Dubai, part of a privately owned business conglomerate that includes automotive, electronics, engineering and technologies, financial services, general services, partners, real estate and retail.
The agreement was signed in Larnaca on Friday by the Acting Managing Director of Al-Futtaim Logistics, Raman Kumar and George Papachristodoulou in the presence of Vargheese Anthony, General Manager – Freight Management of Al-Futtaim Logistics, Dr Paniccos Poutzioris, non-executive chairman Eurofreight Logistics and the rest of the board. The agreement was also welcomed by Larnaca Mayor Andreas Louroutziatis.
Papachristodoulou said that the agreement is expected to boost the Cyprus operations of the group, that already accounts for about 80% of the €9.5-10 million in revenues, due mainly to the Al Futtaim contract, as well as the recent deal with AlfaMega in Cyprus for the supply and distribution of Tesco products.
Even through the group has been active in the Balkans through its Eurofreight Hellas subsidiary since 2010; the recent crisis in Russia and Ukraine has not affected the company’s international operations.
“The crisis there does not affect our services because we don’t have any major transportation business or logistics services from and to Russia and Ukraine. We focus more on the domestic market in Greece, the Balkans and westward to the rest of the EU,” said Papachristodoulou.
Ever since Eurofreight succeeded to attract a multinational company to use Cyprus as a hub for their business transactions in the Middle East a decade ago, other projects have followed with the client list including Adidas, Miele, Cisco, HP, Oracle, food and beverage logistics at Larnaca and Paphos airports, as well as services provided to major franchise operators such as the PHC Group (Pizza Hut, KFC, Burger King) and Lani Restaurants (Goody’s, Flo Café). “We hope to be able to announce more such contracts in the near future,” Papachristodoulou added.
Eurofreight uses about 10,000 square meters in warehouse spacing and has its own fleet of 33 trucks, vans and smaller vehicles with offices in Larnaca, Limassol and Nicosia, as well as Athens and Thessaloniki. It also has the capability to expand its warehouse space by a further15,000 square meters.
Source: Financial Mirror