Panalpina’s air freight volumes grew by three per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018 to 241,000 tonnes – up on the 233,000 tonnes in Q1 last year.
The freight forwarder also reported that compared to the same period of last year, gross profit per ton of air freight increased 19 per cent to CHF 739 (US$73), up on the CHF 620 in Q1 2017, while overall gross profit in the division increased to CHF 177.8 million (2017: CHF 144.7 million).
EBIT in the air freight division increased from CHF 17.1 million to CHF 26.9 million. The EBIT-to-gross-profit margin came in at 15.1 per cent compared to 11.8 per cent a year before.
Panalpina also improved its overall profitability compared to Q1 in 2017, reporting an EBIT of CHF 24.4 million (2017: CHF 16.4 million) and a consolidated profit of CHF 16.6 million (2017: CHF 12.4 million).
Net forwarding revenue was CHF 1,414.3 million, up on the CHF 1,277.2 million in Q1 last year. Gross profit increased 11 per cent to CHF 370.7 million (2017: CHF 332.7 million) and consolidated profit was CHF 16.6 million, up on the CHF 12.4 million last year.
Chief executive officer, Stefan Karlen said: “We’ve had an encouraging start into 2018. Profitability per transported unit increased in both Air and Ocean Freight.
“In Ocean Freight we still recorded a loss, but it has come down from the last quarter of 2017. Logistics contributed to the good overall performance with a solid EBIT result.”
As for the future, Karlen said: “Global air freight demand continues to be healthy and the carriers have begun to increase rates substantially. We will have to be very disciplined in passing these rate increases on as we head for a summer season that could be busier than usual again.
“In Ocean Freight, our immediate focus is clearly on improving profitability. In Logistics, we have made important investments that put us in a good position for top-line growth during the rest of the year.”