Freight forwarder Panalpina outstrips market in Q1

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Panalpina says in the first quarter (Q1) of 2016 its airfreight volumes grew five per cent to 216,000 tonnes – in a market that shrank an estimated three per cent.

The Swiss freight forwarder says while volumes “contracted substantially in oil and gas“ they grew in all other industries including perishables. In ocean freight it saw volumes fall.

Panalpina’s gross profit overall for airfreight rose 0.4 per cent to 148.6 million Swiss francs, compared with Q1 2015 when it was 148 million, achieving an EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) of 17.8 million francs, down on the 19.6 million in Q1 2015.

Panalpina says profitability was affected by lower gross profits in the oil and gas business while revenues are likely to have been hit by lower pricing across the air cargo industry.

Across all sectors, Q1 revenues declined by 13 per cent year-on-year to 1.3 billion francs, EBIT was 24 million, a fall of 5.1 per cent and net profit fell 11.7 per cent to 17.3 million.

Panalpina reported an overall EBIT of 24 million francs, down on the 25.3 million in Q1 2015 and consolidated profit was 17.3 million, a decline on the 19.6 million in Q1 last year.

Panalpina chief executive officer, Peter Ulber explains: “In the first three months of the year, we succeeded in counterbalancing the lower transport volumes in oil and gas. This was due to the positive development in the rest of the business as well as the fast adjustment of our cost base.”

In his outlook, Ulber says: “The tough comparison due to the decline in the oil and gas business will remain for the second quarter of the year, but we have shown that we can continue to be profitable and ride out the storm.”

He adds Panalpina will continue to balance its business and product mix this year.