In the first nine months of 2018 international freight forwarding and logistics company Panalpina increased group profitability compared to the same period of last year.
From January to September, gross profit increased from CHF 1,024.8 million to CHF 1,116.2 million.Year-on-year, Panalpina’s EBIT increased from CHF 72.1 million to CHF 83.2 million and the consolidated profit increased from CHF 48.4 million to CHF 51.0 million.
Panalpina’s air freight volumes increased four per cent in the first nine months of 2018, in line with estimated market growth of four per cent. Compared to the same period of last year, gross profit per ton increased 12 per cent to CHF 705 (YTD 2017: CHF 632), resulting in a gross profit of CHF 530.1 million (YTD 2017: CHF 456.0 million).
EBIT in air freight increased from CHF 69.4 million to CHF 80.2 million. The EBIT-to-gross-profit margin for the first nine months of 2018 came in at 15.1 per cent compared to 15.2 per cent a year before.
“In a year that so far has been characterized by strained international trade relations, we have increased profitability of the group compared to the first nine months of 2017,” said Panalpina chief executive officer, Stefan Karlen. “The macroeconomic uncertainties of the third quarter resulted in air and ocean freight markets that were not as strong as predicted. We saw a market where ocean freight peak season was weaker than anticipated. The air freight rates went up, which impacted our margins as expected. In all, we have stood our ground in a very volatile environment.”
Group gross profit increased nine per cent to CHF 1,116.2 million in the first nine months of 2018 (YTD 2017: CHF 1,024.8 million), while total operating expenses decreased from CHF 920.9 million to CHF 907.8 million. EBIT and consolidated profit increased year-on-year, EBIT reached CHF 83.2 million compared to CHF 72.1 million a year before and the EBIT-to-gross-profit margin stood at 7.5 per cent up from seven per cent. The consolidated profit increased from CHF 48.4 million to CHF 51.0 million.
As for the future, Karlen said: “Due to macroeconomic and political uncertainties, it is challenging to accurately predict the dynamics of the the air freight peak season and the impact on rates and volumes this year, but we have prepared meticulously, securing capacity for our customers and ensuring readiness on the ground at strategic airports
“In ocean freight, we expect fairly strong flows into the USA, but otherwise moderate market growth globally and our focus remains on unit profitability improvement,” says Karlen. “The volatile freight forwarding environment is a constant reminder that we need to do everything in our control to continue to build an organization that is fit for sustainable, profitable growth.”