“Our results for the first quarter of 2013 are in line with what we could expect in a continuously difficult market,” said CEO Monika Ribar. “Ocean freight and logistics continued to grow strongly while air freight volumes were still soft.”
Panalpina reported a consolidated profit of CHF 14 million for the first quarter of 2013. Last year, one-off costs in the first quarter had led to a group loss of CHF 41 million.* Net forwarding revenue in the first quarter of 2013 was up by 4% to CHF 1,602 million. Gross profit amounted to CHF 366 million, an increase of 0.5%.
|(CHF million)||Q1 2013||Q1 2012*|
|Net forwarding revenue||1,601.6||1,539.8|
|Consolidated profit / (loss)||14.3||(40.9)|
* Personnel expenses and income tax expenses in 2012 have been restated due to the application of IAS 19 revised.
Strong trade across the Pacific positively impacted gross profit in the Americas. It reached CHF 113 million in the first quarter of 2013 (+5%). However, weak European imports affected gross profit in EMEA and Asia Pacific. Gross profit in Asia Pacific fell by 8% to CHF 72 million. The EMEA region saw a slight increase of gross profit by 2% to CHF 181 million. Europe recorded strong exports in Ocean Freight but weak overall imports, particularly from Asia.
In Ocean Freight, volumes reached a new first quarter record level. Panalpina shipped 7% more TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) than the year before, expanding well ahead of the market which grew by approximately 2%. Gross profit per TEU of Ocean Freight was below prior year (-4%) but up 3% quarter-on-quarter. The lower unit profitability was more than offset by the higher volumes, leading to an increase of gross profit of 2% to CHF 117 million.
In Air Freight, the environment remained difficult. While the volumes of Panalpina’s customers in the high-tech, telecommunication and chemicals industries stayed weak, the volumes of consumer and retail, healthcare and oil and gas customers showed double-digit growth. Overall, volumes were down by 3% in the first quarter (market: -2%). Gross profit per ton of air freight decreased by 5% year-on-year but increased by 6% quarter-on-quarter. The lower volumes and unit profitability led to a contraction in gross profit compared to the previous year of 8% to CHF 147 million.
Panalpina’s Logistics division, which is increasingly offering Value-Added Services (VAS) to its customers, grew by a solid 13% and reached a gross profit of CHF 102 million.
EBITDA came in at CHF 30 million in the first quarter of 2013, a decrease of 11% compared to the underlying prior year figure. The EBITDA-to-gross profit margin decreased to 8.2% from underlying 9.3% in the previous year.
“Looking forward we are optimistic in regards to our activities in ocean freight and logistics. In air freight, however, the outlook remains weak,” said Ribar. “We will continue to work towards a more balanced mix between our core products air freight, ocean freight and logistics and also towards a better mix of industries that we serve. At the same time we are keeping a very close eye on costs.”