Operating profit rises at K+N

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Kuehne + Nagel saw operating profit (EBITDA) rise by 5.7 per cent (currency adjusted) to CHF 502 million (£382m) in the first half of 2011, while sales at CHF 9,786m (£7,440m) were slightly down on last year owing to negative currency effects.

Alongside its results, the company announced the purchase of Grupo Eichenberg, an integrated logistics operator based at Porto Alegre in Brazil. Grupo Eichenberg employs some 700 staff at 14 locations making it a leading player in the road logistics sector. It operates daily services to and from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay as well as operating a domestic airfreight forwarding service.

Contract Logistics
K+N’s first half sales in contract logistics rose currency adjusted by 5.4 per cent. New businesses and the consolidation of warehousing activities at major logistics centres supported the enhancement of capacity utilisation to 94 per cent. Productivity improvements meant that the EBITDA margin remained on the previous year’s level.

Seafreight volumes were up 12 per cent in the first half of the year. Highest growth was achieved in exports from Europe to North America and Asia as well as from Asia to Latin America and the Middle East. EBITDA margin in relation to gross profit improved from 34.5 to 35.2 per cent, – a record high as a result of cost efficiency and increased volumes.

Airfreight tonnage by 18 per cent, despite falling volumes in the global airfreight market during the second quarter. EBITDA-to-gross profit margin improved from 29.2 per cent to 32.6 per cent.

Road & Rail Logistics
The extension of activities in the groupage, full load and part load businesses led currency adjusted to a 21.4 per cent rise in net invoiced turnover. RH Freight contributed about ten per cent to the increase of shipments. EBITDA was down 6.9 per cent as a result of investment in development of overland services in countries such as Poland and China.

Chairman Karl Gernandt warned that: “Considering the debt crisis and currency situation in Europe as well as the volatile world economy, it is not possible to reliably forecast how the global markets will develop in the second half of the year.”

While maintaining an effective cost management, the group will continue to pursue its global strategy, focusing on investments in growth markets and segments. In this context, the acquisition in Brazil announced today is a significant step.”


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