Norbert Dentressangle is to buy the freight forwarding operations of US-based Schneider Logistics.
The transaction includes air, ocean-forwarding and customs house brokerage services that operate in seven major US cities and in China (Tianjin and Shanghai) with USD $29m of estimated annual sales and 56 people employed.
The acquisition should be completed by the end of October 2010. Chief executive François Bertreau said: “The acquisition of Schneider Logistics freight forwarding activities, now under way, strengthens the development of our new freight forwarding business and gives us immediate access to the key continents of North America and Asia."
The group has also reported a 64 per cent rise in operating profit (EBITDA) to 45.3m euros in the first half. Sales were up 3.9 per cent to 1.4bn euros.
The consolidated operating margin was 3.2 per cent, up from 2.1 per cent in the first half of 2009.
For purposes of comparison with 2009, the 45.3m euros in EBITA has to be restated by 6.7m euros, the amount of the CVAE tax, which replaces the old "taxe professionelle" business tax and is now recognised as corporate income tax. After restating, EBITA grew 39 per cent.
The group said that tight management of operations led to a strong rise in logistics profitability. Logistics EBITA margin amounted to 4.3 per cent on a published basis and 3.7 per cent after adjusting for the CVAE tax, versus 2.4 per cent in H1 2009.
Profitability improved in the transport business thanks to measures undertaken in 2009 and strong momentum in pallet distribution. Transport EBITA margin came to 2.5 per cent on a published basis and 2.1 per cent after adjusting for the CVAE tax, compared with 1.8 per cent in H1 2009.
Bertreau said: "All of Norbert Dentressangle’s activities grew in H1 2010, with transport revenue recovering as early as Q1 and logistics revenue returning to the Q2 2009 level in the second quarter of 2010. Furthermore, our profitability improved significantly as a result of major efforts undertaken in 2009 to adapt our resources.
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