Kuehne + Nagel profit up 0.16pc to US$665 million as revenue falls 3.5pc

2012 03 07

GLOBAL Swiss forwarder Kuehne + Nagel posted a 0.16 per cent increase in profit to CHF606 million (US$665 million) drawn on revenues of CHF19.6 billion, a decline of 3.5 per cent year on year.

"Considering the market and currency turbulence, the diverging economic developments and the devastating natural disasters, which influenced the business environment in 2011, we achieved very satisfactory annual results," said K + N chairman Karl Gernandt.

The second half slow down for the company was attributed to cautious consumer and investment behaviour in the US and Europe, the interruption of supply chains following the disasters in Japan and the significant rise in commodity prices affecting logistics.

During the year, Kuehne + Nagel handled a record number of containers at more than three million TEU, a volume increase of 11 per cent which saw it grow twice as fast as the global container market.

The company experienced double-digit growth rates in Asian and non-European trades and even transpacific lanes volumes were up by more than 15 per cent despite market a contraction.

In air freight, tonnage increased of 13 per cent, exceeding expectations due to acquisitions in the perishables logistics sector, and greater sales of industry-specific air freight solutions. Particularly high growth rates were met in the export business from North America and on the routes from Europe to North America and Asia.

Expansion of groupage, full and part loads and industry-specific distribution led to an 18.8 per cent increase of net invoiced turnover in local currencies, said the company statement.

Groupage activities were boosted by the acquisition of British RH Freight Group in 2011, resulting in an above-market volume growth of 10 per cent. The takeover of the German Drude Logistik, Bad Hersfeld, was of high strategic importance and will ensure productivity improvements in the European groupage network.

By region, the Asia-Pacific recorded a gross profit increase of 8.5 per cent, and Middle East, Central Asia and Africa scored a 3.5 per cent improvement. In the Americas, gross profit improved by 2.2 per cent while in Europe, negative currency effects of 11.9 per cent resulted in a gross profit decrease of 2.9 per cent.

The company said it made "good progress" in expanding contract logistics activities in Asia and South America, while in North America it "achieved a significantly improved result through restructuring measures, the closure of unprofitable sites and newly gained business."

Said CEO Reinhard Lange: "We are confident to reach our targets in the current business year again with profitable growth above-market average in all business units. We are facing up to the uncertain economic development by consistent cost management, process optimisation and increased productivity."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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