During the first nine months of 2013, Kuehne + Nagel Group turnover increased by 1.5 per cent to CHF 15,705 million, and gross profit increased by 2.8 per cent to CHF 4,685 million, compared to the same period of the previous year. Net earnings amounted to CHF 442 million (2012: CHF 357 million).
In the container business, special efforts were made to improve the profit margin. Despite weak volume growth, profit margins were increased slightly. Compared to the first nine months of the previous year, EBIT results stagnated mainly due to a slowdown in the project business. The company gained market share in the transatlantic and transpacific trade lanes, but did not participate in the intensive competition on the Asia-Europe traffic. As a result of this decision, the company increased container volumes by 2.3 per cent in the first three quarters.
In airfreight, the company continued to report positive results. In a stagnating global airfreight market, the company increased overall tonnage by 3.3 per cent in the first nine months. Noteworthy is the performance of the European airfreight business, which benefitted from increased volumes to the Middle East. In North America, higher volumes were experienced mainly on South American routes, aided by the introduction of special service offerings to certain vertical markets such as pharmaceutical / healthcare, automotive and aviation. Gross profit margin improved from 20.8 per cent in the first nine months of 2012 to 21.5 per cent in the same period of 2013. Overall EBIT margins improved by 6.4 per cent to CHF 166 million.
Operational measures to improve results taken during the second quarter led to an increase on EBIT level by CHF 8 million in the third quarter. The focus has been on growing opportunities in pharmaceutical, high-tech, automotive and industrial goods as well as in international consolidation and part- and full loads.
Operational improvements led to a third quarter increase in EBIT of 31.6 per cent compared to the previous year. On a 9-months comparison, net turnover increased by 4.3 per cent and EBIT increased by 59.1 per cent from CHF 44 million to CHF 70 million.
Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, said: “We concentrate on profitable growth and are on good track to reach our goals. In seafreight, our most important business unit, we focused on the quality of business instead of volume growth by all means. In a demanding market environment we thus reached our profitability target in seafreight. Strict cost management will remain in place for the whole company and at the same time we will continue to enhance the spectrum of solutions and the service quality for our customers.” to focus on profitable growth.”