Panalpina sees H1 profits rise and unveils another perishables investment

SWISS forwarder Panalpina reported a first-half net profit of CHF36

Panalpina sees H1 profits rise and unveils another perishables investment
23 July 2018 - 19:00

SWISS forwarder Panalpina reported a first-half net profit of CHF36.1 million (US$36.2 million), up 21 per cent over the same period last year.

Gross profit was up 11 per cent for the half to CHF744.4 million, while operating profit (EBIT) jumped 30 per cent to CHF54.7 million.

The Swiss forwarder also announced it had acquired a major stake in yet another perishables business, Skyservices in South Africa, its fifth such investment since September.

Based in Johannesburg and Cape Town airports, the majority of Skyservices exports go to London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, 'strengthening the Panalpina Perishables Network,' said the company, which also noted the strong perishables export market from South Africa to the UAE and US.

Panalpina's ocean freight in its first-half results broke even, although volumes fell 3 per cent after the loss of a big contract, but gross profit per TEU rose 6 per cent to CHF299, and overall gross profit rose nearly 3 per cent to CHF220.9 million. However, Panalpina recorded an EBIT loss for ocean of CHF5.5 million, nearly double last year's loss.

However, CEO Stefan Karlen put a positive spin on the numbers. 'Ocean freight broke even again in the second quarter, as a result of strict cost control and recovering volumes from April to June.'

In air freight, Panalpina's strongest division, volumes grew at less than the market rate, up 3 per cent. However, gross profit per tonne increased 16 per cent, and gross profit overall rose 20 per cent to CHF354.7 million, with EBIT up 36 per cent to CHF53.4 million.

The logistics division saw gross profits up 3 per cent to CHF168.8 million, with EBIT up 26 per cent to CHF6.8 million, reports The Loadstar of UK.

Mr Karlen said: 'Halfway through 2018 we can say that Panalpina is on track. Sustained margins in both air and ocean freight and the reliable performance in logistics led to sound half-year results.

He was confident about the second half, despite noting political concerns.

'We expect accelerated volume growth for our air and ocean freight activities. 2017 was a record airfreight year though, so the comparison will be tough, and uncertainties in international relationships will increase volatility in the air and ocean freight markets and possibly change trade patterns.

'Regardless of the market environment, we are determined to stay focused on executing our strategy as we continue to build a robust and efficient organisation that can deliver sustainable, profitable growth.'

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