Small fall for airfreight at Kuehne + Nagel

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Kuehne + Nagel profits were down 1.6% in the first quarter of 2019, with the airfreight sector getting off to a slow start.

Group net turnover was up 7.7% to 5.2 billion Swiss francs (CHF) but profits were down 1.6% to CHF 181 million.

Following significant airfreight tonnage growth, volumes were down 3.1% to 409,000 tonnes in the first quarter against the backdrop of a declining market. It says this was in line with the overall airfreight market, which declined 2-3%. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was down slightly from CHF 81 million to CHF 80 million.

Since the start of the year, Kuehne + Nagel has integrated the business operations of pharma and healthcare, and aviation logistics provider Quick International Courier, contributing to a significant increase in gross margins.

Dr Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel International says: “Kuehne + Nagel got off to a good start in 2019. Once again, we increased our net turnover, gross profit and EBIT. However, we find ourselves in an environment in which global economic growth is noticeably slowing. In this volatile market environment we are well positioned. Consistent with our business strategy, we focus on introducing new digital platforms and highly specialised industry solutions. For 2019, we plan to remain on course to grow as a Group and further increase our results.”