Panalpina profits increase despite airfreight weakness

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Panalpina has seen profits increase to 88.2 million Swiss francs ($88.4 million) despite weakness in the airfreight division.

The company profit increased from 86.5 million Swiss francs in 2014, despite revenue falling from 6.7 billion Swiss francs to 5.8 billion Swiss francs in 2015. Panalpina’s airfreight volumes fell by 2.5 per cent to 836,200 tonnes, while the division’s earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell to 88.5 million Swiss francs from 112 million Swiss francs in 2014. It says the lower volumes were because of oil and gas and automotive customers shipping less cargo.

Panalpina chief executive officer (CEO), Peter Ulber says: “We have maintained profitability in a year that was characterised by a soft market, the low oil price, negative currency impacts and high IT investments on our end. The results prove our resilience in more difficult times.”

In 2015, Panalpina acquired its Egyptian agent, Afifi, and opened new offices in Morroco, Kenya and Myanmar. It also acquired Kenyan airfreight forwarder, Airflo, which specialises in exporting perishables.

Ulber has also been nominated the companies chairman from 10 May, succeeding Dr Rudolf Zug, who is retiring due to age limitations in the company’s bylaws. Ulber will be succeeded as CEO by Stefan Karlen, who is regional CEO for the Asia Pacific region. Ulber will continue as CEO until Karlen has appointed a successor for his role.