Stable results despite softening market environment
slowing market growth. Net earnings improved by 1.1 per cent (currency adjusted: by 15.6 per cent) to CHF 454 million. At CHF 728 million the operational result (EBITDA) was 2.4 per cent below (currency adjusted: 11.5 per cent above) the figure of the previous year’s period. Turnover decreased by 3.8 per cent (currency adjusted: increased by 10.1 per cent) to CHF 14,598 million.
Kuehne + Nagel Group
Operational result (EBITDA)
During the first nine months of 2011, Kuehne + Nagel increased its seafreight volume by 11.4 per cent. Thus, the Group clearly outperformed the global container market growth, estimated to be around 5 per cent after volume growth dropped further during the third quarter. Leveraging its value-adding product portfolio, Kuehne + Nagel achieved highest growth in Asia outbound trades, especially to the Middle East and South America. Following the expansion of its specialised network for perishables in reefer containers, volume in this Kuehne + Nagel segment grew significantly as well. Despite slightly lower margins due to very low freight rates in the third quarter of 2011, EBITDA-to-gross profit margin stabilised at 35,3 per cent on a very high level (previous year: 35.8 per cent) in the first nine months of 2011. The operational result remained at the previous year’s level.
In airfreight, Kuehne + Nagel increased its tonnage by 14.5 per cent in the first nine months, although growth in the international airfreight market considerably slowed down in the last months. Compared to the same period in 2010, market freight volumes stagnated. Kuehne + Nagel performed particularly well in Europe, South America and North America, whereas demand in Asia declined. Investments in the development of solutions, tailored to specific industries, such as pharmaceutical and high-tech, were compensated by improved productivity. As a result, EBITDA-to-gross profit margin increased from 30.5 per cent in 2010 to 32.3 per cent in 2011. EBITDA was improved by 13.1 per cent.
Road & Rail Logistics
In the first three quarters of the year, Kuehne + Nagel’s European overland activities recorded a growth in net turnover of 4.9 per cent (currency adjusted: 19.4 per cent.) The company continued to invest into the expansion of its European groupage network and at the same time focused on the development of road logistics services in markets outside Europe. Through the acquisition of Grupo Eichenberg, Brazil, Kuehne + Nagel has gained access to the South American overland market. Currency adjusted, the operational result was slightly above the previous year’s level, EBITDA margin decreased from 1.7 to 1.4 per cent.
In contract logistics, net invoiced turnover declined by 5.7 per cent (currency adjusted: increased by 7.9 per cent). Focal point of the business unit’s strategy has been the expansion of services for multinational customers and the consolidation at strategic logistics hubs. Furthermore, the integration of contract logistics services into end-to-end solutions has been an integral part of the strategic approach. The challenging market conditions in France led to margin pressure, restructuring measures and a negative impact on results. Compared with the previous year’s period, EBITDA in contract logistics was reduced by 11.5 per cent; currency adjusted it remained stable. EBITDA margin decreased from 4.1 to 3.7 per cent.
Reinhard Lange, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, said: “Considering the softening market growth, we are satisfied with our results in the first nine months of 2011. Volatility is high and the fourth quarter is expected to remain demanding. We will continue to consequently implement our growth strategy and further build on our commitment to deliver innovative, value-adding services to our customers around the world.”