Margins remain under pressure at Panalpina despite air volume growth

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Margins remain under pressure in the first quarter for Panalpina with consolidated profits down to 12.4 million Swiss francs ($12.4 million), though airfreight volumes grew eight per cent.

Across the group, net revenue fell from CHF1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2016 to CHF1.27 billion this year, with gross profit falling from CHF17.3 million to CHF12.4 million.

Airfreight volumes grew eight per cent driven by Far East trade lanes, but gross profit per ton fell 10 per cent to CHF620 year-on-year though this was an improvement on the fourth quarter.

Gross profit was marginally down, CHF144.7 million in 2017 compared to CHF148.6 million in 2016 and EBIT decreased slightly to CHF17.1 million from CHF17.8 million.

Panalpina chief executive officer, Stefan Karlen says: “In the first three months of the year, we succeeded in outperforming the markets with volume increases of 8% in Air Freight and 7% in Ocean Freight.”

“As expected, margins remained under pressure, however, they are slowly recovering since we saw an upturn in unit profitability in both Air and Ocean Freight compared to the last quarter of 2016.”

Describing the outlook, Karlen says: “While the challenging market dynamics are expected to continue throughout 2017, we are well-positioned in the market and cautiously optimistic that we can keep up the strong volume growth in Air and Ocean Freight, further gaining market share.”