A good start into 2014

The Kuehne + Nagel Group increased earnings for the period by 11.9 per cent to CHF 150 million in the first three months of 2014 as a result of its concentration on profitable growth. The overland business unit ended the first quarter clearly positive; airfreight and contract logistics also recorded increased results. In seafreight, volume growth has to be highlighted. Compared with the previous year’s period, the Group’s operational result (EBITDA) increased by 7.3 per cent to CHF 235 million; EBIT was at CHF 190 million, thus 12.4 per cent higher than in the previous year.

Kuehne + Nagel Group

1st Quarter 2014   1st Quarter 2013

CHF million



Net turnover



Gross profit



Operational result (EBITDA)






Earnings for the period




The slight decreases in net turnover and gross profit resulted from the planned adjustments in warehousing capacities, rate deterioration and margin pressure in sea and airfreight, as well as the negative currency impact, in particular.

Kuehne + Nagel increased its container volume by 6.9 per cent and handled 58,000 TEU more than in the previous year’s first quarter. Volumes in the trade lanes from Europe to North America and Asia increased substantially, while the Latin American business did not grow so strongly. Although the volatility of rates in many routes led to margin pressure, Kuehne + Nagel was able to keep the conversion rate (EBIT-to gross profit-margin) stable at 28.8 per cent.

In airfreight, Kuehne + Nagel increased volumes by 1.4 per cent, handling 4,000 tons more than in the previous year’s period. Volume increases were mainly realised in Europe and North America, while in Asia, Middle East and Africa tonnage declined in comparison with the first quarter 2013. As a result of focussing on the provision of industry-specific solutions and efficient cost management, the conversion rate (EBIT-to gross profit-margin) improved from 24.2 per cent in the first quarter 2013 to 28.3 per cent; EBIT increased by 17.0 per cent compared with the first three months 2013.

The strict implementation of the “Road 2 Profit” strategy resulted in a considerably improved performance. Cost reductions and the favourable development of the European groupage business both influenced results positively. Currency adjusted, net turnover improved by 6.9 per cent, the operational result rose disproportionately to CHF 12 million. With
CHF 3 million, EBIT was positive as expected. 

Contract Logistics
The restructuring measures in the contract logistics business unit  combined with new business developments showed positive effects. While net turnover (currency adjusted), improved by 1.7 per cent, EBIT increased by 13.8 per cent compared to the previous year’s
period. The EBITDA margin was stable at 5.6 per cent.

Dr. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel International AG: “In a slightly recovered market environment all our business units performed well and strengthened our market position at the same time. In view of this, we are satisfied with the results in the first quarter 2014. The cost measures introduced one year ago and active margin management have been effective. Our strategy remains unchanged: we will continue to focus on profitable growth.”