SWISS forwarding giant Panalpina suffered a year-on-year 28.3 per cent first quarter consolidated profit decline to CHF12.4 million (US$12.4 million), drawn on revenues of CHF1.27 billion, which fell 2.2 per cent.
"Financial results for the first quarter 2017 came in below the previous-year period for Panalpina," the company statement conceded.
But Panalpina said it had outperformed the air and ocean freight markets in terms of volume growth, though profitability was weak, said the statement accompanying the results.
"In the first three months of the year, we succeeded in outperforming the markets with volume increases of eight per cent in air freight and seven per cent in ocean freight," said Panalpina CEO Stefan Karlen.
Air freight volumes grew eight per cent in the first quarter compared to an estimated market growth of just above six per cent, said the company.
Volume growth was driven mainly by the Far East trade lanes. Gross profit per ton decreased 10 per cent to CHF620 year on year, but was up versus the last quarter.
Ocean freight volumes increased seven per cent year on year while the market grew by an estimated four per cent.
The transatlantic and Far East trade lanes contributed to Panalpina growth. But gross profit per TEU decreased 17 per cent to CHF282 resulting in a gross profit of CHF 105.5 million.
The exit from more underperforming sites meant that the gross profit from logistics fell 16 per cent to CHF82.5 million, but with a strong end to the quarter and further improvements in underlying profitability, EBIT increased 33 per cent to CHF2.4 million, the highest quarterly result ever.
Said Mr Karlen: "While challenging market dynamics are expected throughout 2017, we are well-positioned and cautiously optimistic."
Panalpina Group operates a global network with some 500 offices in more than 70 countries, and it works with partner companies in another 100 countries. Panalpina employs 14,500 worldwide.
Source: SchednetPrevious Next