Panalpina sees growth in air and ocean freight

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Swiss forwarder Panalpina increased air freight volumes by 36 per cent in the second quarter while ocean freight volumes were up 19 per cent – enabling it to push gross profit up eight per cent to £232m (CHF380m).

It has made a provision of  £78m (CHF128m) for potential fines and compliance consultancy costs related to alleged violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and antitrust laws.

While it says it is close to finalising negotiations with the US authorities, the provision meant that it made a loss of £47.6m (CHF78m) at the EBIT level.

The group said a number of important industry verticals, such as the automotive, hi-tech, and telecommunications industries, were hit particularly hard by the economic crisis in 2009; this adversely impacted Panalpina’s business activities.

“The recovery in these sectors is therefore all the more gratifying, as it has enabled Panalpina to record a significant increase in revenues in the second quarter 2010. Other important industry segments for Panalpina which have posted above-average growth include chemicals, consumer and retail as well as fashion.”

The group forecasts market growth of 15 per cent in air freight and 10 per cent in ocean freight in 2010. Chief executive Monika Ribar  said: “In the coming months profitability will remain our chief priority.

“We are continuing to build in a structured manner on the initiatives that we have successfully implemented in procurement and sales. Clear product segmentation and our strong customer focus have had an extremely positive impact. Although higher volumes are likely to put pressure on our cost base, we shall continue to operate on the principle of sustainable profitable growth.”

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