April 25, 2018: Supply chain solutions provider Kuehne + Nagel has reported good start to 2018 with considerable increases in all its business units – Seafreight, Airfreight, Overland and Contract Logistics.
Though the sea freight volumes were not a big high, its EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) saw stable margins. EBIT grew by 4.3 per cent to CHF 97 million because of the rapid growth in intra-Asian transport operations and exports from Asia. In the first quarter, the company handled 1.079 million TEUs, some 50,000 more than in the previous year’s period. Volume growth was only held back by the decline in exports of recycling material to China following changes to import terms.
However, air freight tonnage increased once again by more than 20 percent to 422,000 tonnes, including the successful integration of two acquisitions. The freight forwarding company had expanded its global perishables network with the acquisition of sector specialist forwarders Commodity Forwarders (CFI) in the US and Trillvane in Kenya. Particularly strong growth was recorded for exports from North America. EBIT rose by 12.5 percent from the already very high level of the previous year, reaching CHF 81 million.
Kuehne + Nagel’s overland business saw substantial increase as net turnover increased by 16.4 percent in the first quarter, while gross profit rose by 16.8 percent. Pharma sector was once again the driver behind this growth. EBIT improved by CHF 17 million compared to the previous year’s period.
Due to a dynamic business performance, contract logistics grew twice as fast as the market. Double-digit increases in China and South-East Asia were crucial as well as significant business wins, in particular in the area of e-commerce fulfilment. Gross profit increased by 11.3 percent compared to previous year’s period.
Dr. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel International AG: “Building on this growth combined with further productivity improvements we were able to considerably increase our results in the first quarter. At the start of the new year we implemented two new digital platforms globally, SeaExplorer and KN ESP, addressing specific customer requirements and creating significant efficiency gains. Another important milestone is the opening of two innovation centres where we develop innovative solutions in contract logistics together with customers. We are determined to continue on this path.”
Another supply chain company Panalpina also saw revenue and profits rise due to growth from air freight and logistics division.