“In the first nine months of the year we succeeded in keeping EBIT and consolidated profit at previous year levels, despite a contracting air freight market in the third quarter, our exposure to the oil and gas industry and historically high IT investments,“ says Panalpina CEO Peter Ulber. “Currency adjusted, EBIT and consolidated profit would have been up by 9% and 10% respectively. Ocean Freight increased EBIT significantly and Logistics delivered the third positive quarterly EBIT in a row, resulting in an EBIT year-to-date of CHF 2 million compared to a loss of almost CHF 7 million last year.”
Net forwarding revenue
Group gross profit decreased 6% (adjusted: 0%) to CHF 1,107.3 million in the first nine months of 2015 (YTD 2014: CHF 1,178.7 million). Total operating expenses amounted to CHF 975.9 million, 6% less (adjusted: -1%) than in the same period of the previous year (YTD 2014: CHF 1,041.2 million). Panalpina achieved an EBIT of CHF 92.4 million, a decrease of 2% (adjusted: +9%) compared to the same period of last year (YTD 2014: CHF 94.4 million). The EBIT-to-gross-profit margin increased to 8.3% (YTD 2014: 8.0%). The consolidated profit of the group remained stable at CHF 69.3 million (YTD 2014: CHF 69.2 million).
In a very soft air freight market that grew less than 1% from January to September 2015, Panalpina’s Air Freight volumes decreased 2% in the same period. Panalpina transported less oil and gas and automotive cargo, but more perishables. Gross profit per ton decreased 4% to CHF 715 (YTD 2014: CHF 745), resulting in a total gross profit of CHF 439.7 million (YTD 2014: CHF 469.0 million). Air Freight achieved an EBIT of CHF 67.6 million (YTD 2014: CHF 85.3 million), while the EBIT-to-gross-profit margin for the first nine months of 2015 decreased to 15.4% (YTD 2014: 18.2%).
Panalpina’s Ocean Freight volumes grew 1% in the first nine months of 2015, which was slightly below market growth of 2%. Gross profit per TEU decreased 3% to CHF 300 (YTD 2014: CHF 309), resulting in a total gross profit of CHF 362.2 million (YTD 2014: CHF 370.4 million). Ocean Freight posted an EBIT of CHF 22.8 million (YTD 2014: CHF 16.0 million) and the EBIT-to-gross profit margin increased to 6.3% in the first nine months of 2015 (YTD 2014: 4.3%).
In Logistics, gross profit decreased 10% to CHF 305.5 million (YTD 2014: CHF 339.3 million) as a result of currency translation and the continued exit from underperforming sites. In the first nine months of 2015, a positive EBIT of CHF 2.0 million was achieved, compared to an EBIT loss of CHF 6.9 million in the same period of last year. Logistics recorded the third positive quarter on EBIT level in a row.
“The air and ocean freight markets will continue to be soft at best and a rebound of the oil price in the near future seems unlikely. It is all the more important that we continue to control cost with great discipline and implement new IT systems and processes in order to improve our productivity,” says Ulber. “We will accelerate our investments in less cyclical business to further reduce our exposure to certain industries.”