SWISS forwarding giant Panalpina posted a first half five per cent year-on-year gross profit decline to CHF736.1 million (US$767.7 million), drawn on revenues of CHF2.94 billion, down 9.1 per cent.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) was up 0.4 per cent reaching CHF60.4 million. EBIT was up in ocean freight, but down in air freight. Logistics reported a positive EBIT of CHF1.5 million for the half-year, after a loss of CHF 4.3 million for the same period of last year.
"We succeeded in keeping profitability stable in the first six months of the year despite a soft air and ocean freight
market," said Panalpina CEO Peter Ulber.
"In the first six months of the year, we grew volumes in line with the market in ocean freight but fell behind market growth in air freight, where we clearly felt the headwind in the energy sector," he said.
Panalpina's air freight volumes decreased two per cent in the first six months, while the market grew by one to two per cent. Lower volumes in the automotive and energy sector were at the heart of the decrease, the company said.
Ocean freight volumes grew three per cent in the first six months in line with market growth. Ocean freight significantly improved EBIT to CHF12.8 million, said the company statement.
Panalpina logistics gross profit decreased seven per cent to CHF205.2 million in the first half as a result of currency translation and the exit from underperforming sites.
As for the future Mr Ulber said: "Our focus remains on cost control and improving productivity. We have come a long way in cutting losses and transforming our operations. Despite the headwind in the energy sector, we are confident that we can recover lost ground in air freight during the second half. Our pipeline looks promising."Source: shipping times