Kuehne + Nagel managed to increase net earnings by 1.1 per cent CHF 454m for the first for the first nine months despite a fall in sales.
EBITDA was down 2.4 per cent at CHF 728m while turnover was down 3.8 per cent to CHF14.6bn.
Chief executive Reinhard Lange 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.”
In Contract Logistics, EBITDA margin fell from 4.1 per cent to 3.7 per cent while net invoiced turnover declined by 5.7 per cent.
The group said focal point of the business unit’s strategy had 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.
However, there was a strong performance in Seafreight where volume was up by 11.4 per cent out-performing global container market growth.
“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.”
And in Airfreight, Kuehne + Nagel increased its tonnage by 14.5 per cent in the first nine months, although growth in the international airfreight market slowed down in the last months.
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 saw 4.9 per cent growth in net turnover, however EBITDA margin decreased from 1.7 to 1.4 per cent.