Kuehne + Nagel International AG - Half Year Results for 2004

The globally operating logistics group, Kuehne + Nagel, generated significant growth rates in turnover and profits in the first half of 2004. Turnover increased by 20.5 per cent to CHF 5,430.2 million. At CHF 181.6 million the operational result (EBITA) shows a rise of 36.9 per cent compared with the same period last year. Net earnings improved by 16.7 per cent to CHF 95.9 million.

While economic conditions have improved, the key drivers for accelerated growth were the Group’s extended global sales organisation, concentration on new markets and its operational efficiency.

The excellent performance of the business unit Sea & Air Logistics contributed significantly to the results. In comparison to the previous year the operational result improved by 27.1 per cent.

With an increase in volumes of 25 per cent, Kuehne + Nagel further extended its global leadership in seafreight. Container traffic to and from Asia alone saw a growth in volumes of over 40 per cent. Good progress was made in the transatlantic trade lanes. With volumes up 12 per cent, growth was above market average. The operational result improved by 16.3 per cent in comparison with last year.

Evidence of Kuehne + Nagel’s strong performance in the airfreight business is the rise in turnover of 19.8 per cent. Intensified sales and marketing efforts for its innovative IT-based airfreight solutions resulted in significant new business gains. In all regions, growth rates above the market average were generated. Furthermore, the close cooperation with selected carriers allowed for setting up new business initiatives. Efficient cost management and productivity improvements supported the rise of the operational result by 46.2 per cent.

The strong demand for international road transportation solutions and the efficient integration of the activities of Pracht Spedition + Logistik GmbH led to a notable increase of turnover and operational result in the business unit Rail & Road Logistics. The intermodal traffic concepts have been increasingly accepted by the customers and will gain even further importance due to the growing traffic needs between Western and Eastern Europe.

Contract logistics results improved considerably. Following the completion of the restructuring process in North America, the focus was shifted to generating growth in target industries. Well utilised warehousing capacities in Europe, the expansion of distribution activities and cost advantages due to process optimisation, all contributed to the increased margin and doubled operational result.

Klaus Herms, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, said: “Based on the favourable six months results we are confident regarding the full business year. Progressing globalisation will in addition be of advantage for the business development. We expect further growth in the second half of the year.”