Panalpina now reckons it will see no growth at all in air cargo this year after lowering its market growth expectations – but it is still forecasting four to five per cent growth for ocean freight.
In Ocean Freight, Panalpina recorded a volume growth of 8 per cent and therefore gained market share in the third quarter.
Volume growth in air freight was affected by the profitability restoration programme initiated in 2010, where unprofitable business was discontinued. Air Freight volumes were down by 6 per cent year-on-year (-3 per cent in the first nine months). Quarter-on-quarter the gap to the market narrowed from 8 per cent to less than 3 per cent. Yield focus led to a further rise in gross profit per ton, up 3 per cent year-on-year.
For the first nine months of 2011, group sales were down to CHF 4.85bn (£3.43bn) from CHF 5.36bn (£3.79bn) but EBITDA was up from CHF 5.8m (£4.1m) to CHF 163.6m (£115.6m).
Chief executive Monika Ribar said the group had done well in the third quarter despite fierce competition and a challenging environment.
“Our focus on sustainable, profitable growth is clearly starting to pay off. We’ve made good progress in volumes while gross profit remained high. In ocean freight we outpaced the market in the third quarter. In air freight we narrowed the gap considerably.”