Panalpina grows ahead of market and improves profitability in first quarter

Apr 29, 2014

International freight forwarding and logistics company Panalpina continued to gain market share in air and ocean freight in the first quarter of 2014. From January to March, Panalpina’s volumes in both Air and Ocean Freight grew by 6%. EBIT in the same period increased almost a third to CHF 24.5 million.

“We had a decent start into 2014,” says Panalpina CEO Peter Ulber. “In the first three months of the year, Air and Ocean Freight showed continued growth ahead of the market, and in Logistics we made progress in reducing the losses. Group EBIT and EBIT-to-gross profit margin increased both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter.”


Panalpina Group: Results for the first quarter of 2014

CHF (million)Q1 2014Q1 2013
Net forwarding revenue1,596.51,601.5
Gross profit384.3365.8
Consolidated profit17.814.3


EBIT increases by almost a third

Group gross profit increased 5% to CHF 384.3 million, reaching the highest first quarter level since the financial crisis. Total operating expenses were up 3% year-on-year but down 5% quarter-on-quarter on a like-for-like basis. Panalpina achieved an EBIT of CHF 24.5 million, an increase of 32% compared to last year’s first quarter. The year-on-year EBIT increase was a combination of leveraging growth, managing costs and further improving productivity. The EBIT-to-gross-profit margin increased to 6.4%, up from 5.1% a year ago.


Air Freight

Panalpina’s Air Freight volumes grew 6% in the first quarter, ahead of the market (+4%). Gross profit per ton decreased 1% to CHF 754 (Q1 2013: CHF 763). As a result, Air Freight gross profit reached CHF 153.7 million (Q1 2013: CHF 146.4 million). Air Freight achieved an EBIT of CHF 26.0 million (Q1 2013: CHF 22.2 million). The EBIT-to-gross-profit margin for the first quarter increased to 16.9% (Q1 2013: 15.2%).


Ocean Freight

Panalpina’s Ocean Freight volumes also grew 6% year-on-year, while the market only grew 3%. Volumes out of Asia, particularly to North America and Europe, slowed down. Gross profit per TEU of Ocean Freight decreased 1% to CHF 333 (Q1 2013: CHF 338), which resulted in a gross profit of CHF 122.7 million (Q1 2013: CHF 117.3 million). Ocean Freight posted an EBIT of CHF 3.9 million, CHF 1.0 million less in comparison to last year’s quarter, but CHF 2.7 million more in comparison to the preceding quarter. The EBIT-to-gross profit margin decreased to 3.2% in the first quarter (Q1 2013: 4.2%).



The Group’s Logistics product recorded gross profit growth of 5% to CHF 107.9 million (Q1 2013: CHF 102.1 million). The loss on EBIT level decreased to CHF 5.4 million (Q1 2013: CHF 8.6 million), which was primarily a result of reduced losses in overland activities.



“In the context of difficult market conditions, the results for the first quarter are very encouraging. Our systematic restructuring activities to turn around the company’s loss-making operations are ongoing and on track, but these activities will continue to influence the financial results in the short term,” says Ulber. Panalpina’s outlook for the air and ocean freight markets remains unchanged. The company expects the air freight market to grow by 2 to 3% and the ocean freight market by 4 to 5% in 2014.



About Panalpina

The Panalpina Group is one of the world's leading providers of supply chain solutions. The company combines its core products of Air Freight, Ocean Freight, and Logistics to deliver globally integrated, tailor-made end-to-end solutions. Drawing on in-depth industry know-how and customized IT systems, Panalpina manages the needs of its customers' supply chains, no matter how demanding they might be. Energy Solutions is a specialized service for the energy and capital projects sector. The Panalpina Group operates a global network with some 500 offices in more than 75 countries, and it works with partner companies in a further 90 countries. Panalpina employs 15,000 people worldwide who deliver a comprehensive service to the highest quality standards – wherever and whenever.