Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Swiss Freight Forwarding And Logistics Group Publish Results

Panalpina Announce Q1 figures
Shipping News Feature

SWITZERLAND – WORLDWIDE – Freight forwarding and logistics group Panalpina have reported a strong double digit growth in profitability compared to the first quarter 2010 and volume increases in air and ocean freight sectors in their first quarter figures released today. Panalpina reported Gross profit increased by 14% (+22% currency adjusted) year-on-year to CHF 373 million which, together with ongoing cost discipline measures introduced by the group, led to a jump in EBITDA to CHF 56 million (Q1 2010: CHF 10 million).

The ongoing strength of the Swiss franc again had a major effect on the financial results with gross profit impacted by almost 8% although Panalpina say currencies had no material impact on margins. CEO Monika Ribar commented:

“Panalpina has started very solidly into the year. We have been able to take advantage of the measures we put in place last year which have enabled us to improve our profitability. In the first quarter, gross profit grew across all segments and recorded strong increases in all regions, led by the emerging economies in Asia Pacific and Latin America. Gross profit per ton and per TEU recorded double-digit growth despite the adverse impact from the strong Swiss franc”.

Gross profits per ton of air freight cargo, up 24% on a volume increase of 6%, and per TEU of ocean freight, volume up 12% with only 2% more containers shipped, meaning the group is able to claim double digit growth in both sectors. Logistics services did less well but still achieved a 1% increase in gross profit to CHF 90 million.

On the 22nd March the Norwegian Competition Authority approved Panalpina’s acquisition of Grieg Logistics which was announced in February. The company has been officially rebranded Panalpina Grieg. Panalpina claim existing customers have expressed their approval and support for the acquisition which creates an opportunity to expand Panalpina’s oil and gas presence in Norway while leveraging the two companies’ joint logistics know-how. Complete financial consolidation took effect on April 1, 2011.

Ms Ribar, in common with other freight and logistics executives in other European countries says she anticipates pressure to be brought to bear on freight rates later this year with a resultant squeezing of profits, still predicting a favourable single digit growth in the market however.

Photo: Monika Ribar