Saturday, May 5, 2012

Swiss Freight Forwarding Group to Appeal Against Massive Fine

Panalpina Says Penalty Has Resulted in Loss
Shipping News Feature

SWITZERLAND - EUROPE – The massive fines levied on numerous freight forwarding groups by the EU Anti Trust Commission in March have had a devastating effect on profits and one company at least is preparing to appeal the penalty imposed on them. Panalpina says the total €46+ million penalty has resulted in the Swiss logistics supplier recording a €33.3 million loss in the first quarter of this year.

The Group reported a gross profit decrease of 3% (+1% currency adjusted) compared to the first quarter of 2011. Gross profit margin increased to 23.6%. Volumes in Ocean Freight reached a record high and which Panalpina says outperformed the market, up 7% against 2011. Volumes in Air Freight were affected by a negative market and the profitability restoration program, down 8% on the previous year. Commenting on the penalty imposed for their part in the cartel activity Panalpina CEO Monika Ribar said:

“We believe the amount (of the fine) is not justified, which is why we are going to appeal the decision to the European General Court.”

Of the current financial statement she continued:

“While we did very well in Ocean Freight, gaining market share, we knew that the first quarter would be a difficult one for Air Freight, especially in comparison to last year’s exceptional first quarter. In anticipation of the difficult market environment and a challenging 2012 we already reacted last year and introduced cost containment measures. This led to a flat development of the operating expenses quarter-on-quarter.”

Interim first quarter figures are available in full HERE.

Photo: Panalpina CEO Monika Ribar