"Between the second and third quarter of 2009, Panalpina recorded higher volumes in both air and ocean freight“, comments CEO Monika Ribar. “But as the numbers in the 9-month comparison clearly show, the market environment remains extremely difficult. This is why we continue to intensify our sales efforts by optimizing our customer mix and by expanding our offerings in global supply chain management. While there is no short-term solution for the current challenges, I am confident that these measures will pay off in due course”.
Air freight volumes grew by 10% and ocean freight volumes by 13% between the second and the third quarter of 2009. On a year-to-year basis, air freight volumes were down by 25% and ocean freight volumes by 18%. While these numbers reflect weak development on many trade lanes, Panalpina has gained air freight market share on the transpacific trade lane and ocean freight market share on Asia-Europe, the company’s most important ocean freight trade lane. Gross profit declined by 18.5% to CHF 1,065 million and has been impacted during the third quarter by significantly higher freight rates that could not be fully passed on to customers. EBITDA decreased to CHF 73 million having been negatively impacted by year to date legal fees of CHF 44 million which are related to ongoing investigations.
The Canadian Competition Bureau has closed its investigation with respect to alleged anti-competitive activity in the international freight forwarding industry citing a lack of evidence that would substantiate an undue lessening of competition. Other investigations of several competition authorities against various major freight forwarding companies are ongoing. However, so far no formal allegations have been made against Panalpina.
In order to better align the company in this difficult market environment, Panalpina has stepped up its sales efforts. Measures include an increased focus on the SME segment in order to optimize the customer mix and on extending its offerings in the field of global supply chain management. In addition, the design and implementation of a trade lane management concept, the appointment of a Global Head of Sales reporting directly to the Executive Board, intensified sales training as well as improved visibility and transparency are anticipated to spur growth in the coming quarters.
The cost-savings program announced in March this year continues to yield positive results. Operating costs are developing on track to achieve the targeted CHF 130 million (currency-adjusted) reduction.
|(in CHF millions)||Q1-Q3 2009||Q1-Q3 2008||Q3 2009||Q3 2008|
|Net forwarding revenue||4,389||6,719||1,415||2,372|
|Consolidated net earnings||21||105||5||28|