Airfreight volumes at Kuehne + Nagel grow 20% in the first quarter

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Profits at Kuehne + Nagel have grown at double digit rates with airfreight volumes increasing by more than 20 per cent helped by strategic acquisitions.

Earnings for the period increased by 11.5 per cent from 165 million Swiss francs (CHF) in the first quarter of 2017 to CHF 184 million ($188 million), with net turnover rising by 13.1 per cent to CHF 4.8 billion.

Airfreight had another strong year with tonnage increasing more than 20 per cent to 422,000 tonnes, with particularly strong growth for exports from North America.

In July 2017 Kuehne + Nagel acquired two airfreight forwarders specialising in perishables with the acquisition of USA-based Commodity Forwarders, and Kenya’s Trillvane, adding more than 150,000 tonnes to the Swiss company’s perishables network.

Airfreight turnover increased from CHF 1 billion in the first quarter of 2017 to CHF 1.3 billion, with segment profits measured in earnings before interest and tax rising 12.5 per cent to CHF 81 million.

Kuehne + Nagel International chief executive officer, Dr Detlef Trefzger says: “We have made a successful start into the business year and achieved clear increases in volume across all business units. Building on this growth combined with further productivity improvements we were able to considerably increase our results in the first quarter.”