Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Swiss 3PL Supply chain and Freight Forwarding Specialist Announces Q1 Figures

Ocean and Air Cargo Profits Rise on Increased Turnover but Rates per Tonne and TEU Fall Slightly Overall
Shipping News Feature

SWITZERLAND – WORLDWIDE – Swiss based third party logistics (3PL) supply chain group Panalpina says it has grown ‘head of the market’ with improved profitability in the first quarter of 2014. The freight forwarding company claims an increased market share in air cargo and ocean freight markets with volumes up 6%.

Gross profits overall rose 5% from circa CHF 366 million to 384 million, the highest first quarter level since the financial crisis, with consolidated profit rising CHF 3.5 million to CHF 17.8 million. Total operating expenses were up 3% year-on-year but down 5% quarter-on-quarter on a like-for-like basis. Panalpina achieved an EBIT of CHF 24.5 million, an increase of 32% compared to last year’s first quarter. The year-on-year EBIT increase was a combination of leveraging growth, managing costs and further improving productivity. The EBIT-to-gross-profit margin increased to 6.4%, up from 5.1% a year ago.

In the individual sectors Panalpina says the 6% jump in air cargo and ocean freight outstripped the average for both sectors which market figures it says show 4% and 3% growth respectively. First quarter air freight gross profits actually fell by 1% per tonne producing CHF 754 million (down against last year’s CHF 763 million) resulting in an overall first quarter rise in gross profit of CHF 153.7 million as opposed to Q1 2013’s CHF 146.4 million.

At sea TEU GP also fell 1% down to CHF 333 million against Q1 last year of CHF 338 million, but once again that 6% increase in volume boosted the overall profit up from CHF 117.3 million to CHF 122.7 million.

Logistics turned in a GP that was up 5% overall from CHF 102.1 million in 2013 to CHF 107.9 million whilst the sector loss on EBIT level decreased to CHF 5.4 million from Q1 2013’s CHF 8.6 million, which was primarily a result of reduced losses in overland activities. Panalpina CEO Peter Ulber, remarked:

“We had a decent start into 2014, in the first three months of the year, Air and Ocean Freight showed continued growth ahead of the market, and in Logistics we made progress in reducing the losses. Group EBIT and EBIT-to-gross profit margin increased both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter.

“In the context of difficult market conditions, the results for the first quarter are very encouraging. Our systematic restructuring activities to turn around the company’s loss-making operations are ongoing and on track, but these activities will continue to influence the financial results in the short term. Panalpina’s outlook for the air and ocean freight markets remains unchanged. The company expects the air freight market to grow by 2 to 3% and the ocean freight market by 4 to 5% in 2014.”