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Dubai air services firm Dnata eyes Asia, Gulf buys

Dnata says will see revenue grow between 10 to 20 pct; Company looking at acquisitions in Asia, GCC

April 28, 2011 3:57 by

Dnata, the airline services arm of Emirates Group, is on the prowl for acquisitions in Asia and the Gulf Arab region in the wake of its purchase of the flight catering unit of Italy’s Autogrill SpA last year, a top official said.

The Dubai government-owned firm, which provides ground handling, cargo, travel and flight catering, launched a branding campaign on Thursday aimed at boosting its profile abroad. “We would love to do more acquisitions in the (Gulf Arab) region,” Gary Chapman, president group services and Dnata for Emirates Group told Reuters.

“It’s been proving quite difficult … most businesses are government owned in the region and therefore controlled by authorities. So it’s not that easy to successfully spread our operations.”

Dnata acquired Alpha Flight from Autogrill SpA for 100 million pounds ($165.7 million) last year.

The company also took a 23-percent share in the British corporate travel company Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) and owns 49 percent in South Africa-based outsource provider Mind Pearl.

“There’s no question that growth will definitely be in the Far East and the Indian subcontinent. We will be looking to grow in these markets.” said Chapman.

He said Dnata has a turnover of over 6 billion dirhams.

“I expect us to continue to grow our revenues by between 10 and 20 pct compound going forward.”

The air service provider headquartered in Dubai said it will expand into India with the launch of a corporate travel service in May.

By Praveen Menon

(Editing by Amran Abocar)

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