K+N's 2019 earnings are up 3.6pc to US$830m as sea freight remains strong

THE Kuehne + Nagel group saw a considerable improvement in its results in 2019, with net turnover up 1

10 March 2020 - 19:00

THE Kuehne + Nagel group saw a considerable improvement in its results in 2019, with net turnover up 1.5 per cent to CHF21.1 billion (US$21.893 billion) and gross profit up 3.5 per cent to CHF8.0 billion against the previous year.

Earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) rose by 7.5 per cent to CHF1.1 billion, while earnings for the year were up 3.6 per cent at CHF800 million.

Kuehne + Nagel International CEO Detlef Trefzger said: 'In sea freight and overland, our focus on customer service, cost-effectiveness, operational systems and digitalisation has once again paid off. We managed to keep results stable in the more volatile airfreight business. In contract logistics, the restructuring of the product, customer and real estate portfolios led to a considerable improvement in results.'

Net turnover from the sea freight division was up 4.6 per cent in 2019 at CHF7.5 billion and gross profit was up by 3.8 per cent at CHF1.5 billion. Thanks to the focused growth strategy and high-quality service, the business unit again achieved growth in a stagnating market.

A total of 4.9 million TEU were shipped, a year-on-year increase of 3.6 per cent. EBIT rose by 9.1 per cent to CHF456 million against the previous year.

Last year saw a drastic drop in demand for air freight, particularly in key European industries and the perishables business, which drove a decline in net turnover to CHF4.7 billion. Airfreight volume was down 5.7 per cent against the previous year to 1.6 million tonnes.

The company said in a release that its air freight proved resilient in this challenging business environment thanks to the consistent expansion of the service portfolio, the focus on digital solutions, optimisation of the cost structure, and the successful integration of Quick International Courier.

Gross profit rose by 9.6 per cent to CHF1.3 billion, whereas EBIT was down against the previous year at CHF329 million.

Net turnover from its overland business grew 1.7 against 2018 to CHF3.6 billion and gross profit increased by three per cent to CHF1.1 billion.

The business unit added to the European network with the acquisition of Joebstl in Austria as well as Rotra, a road transport provider in the Belgium and the Netherlands.

Business with large-scale customers continued to drive growth in North America, whilst the intermodal business weakened because of a falling oil price. The business unit expanded its presence in Southeast Asia with the launch of a new digital booking platform. EBIT improved by 2.6 per cent to CHF78 million.

In the 2019 business year, net turnover in contract logistics grew by 2.8 per cent versus the previous year to CHF5.4 billion; the restructuring of the product and customer portfolio delivered results. Operationally, productivity gains and better service quality led to a sustainable improvement of results.

With the opening of new distribution centres in Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg, the business unit focused on high-value growth in pharma and healthcare as well as e-commerce fulfilment. The combination of restructuring and growth generated an Ebit of CHF198 million.


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