Strong logistics performance boosts profit at Ceva

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A strong performance by the UK logistics business contributed to record sales at Ceva Logistics in 2011.

Group profit margins improved with EBITDA up 9.9 per cent to 321m euros for the year, while sales grew one per cent to 6.9bn euros.

“The UK did particularly well, winning new contracts and performing very well operationally,” said Leigh Pomlett, president, Northern Europe and executive vice president UK, Ireland and Nordics.

“The general picture is that the European business did very well… especially Eastern Europe, and Poland was the star performer.”

Pomlett said contract logistics, industrial sectors, consumer retail and automotive business sectors all performed especially well in 2011.

While Ceva’s performance in Europe was robust overall, Pomlett said Benelux was reasonably flat, and France would be a focus for improvement over the next 12 months.

He foresees capacity management becoming an issue in 2012, but that generally there will be no change to Ceva’s current strategy focusing on growth.

The group’s Freight Management business was affected by the decline in transport rates resulting in lower revenue charged to customers, along with softer airfreight volumes. As a result revenue was down two per cent.

In early 2012, Ceva also reorganised its finances with an equity and debt funded financing deal, which eliminated over 850 million euros of debt, to strengthen its balance sheet.

Chief executive officer John Pattullo, said: “2011 was a year of strong progress for Ceva. We improved our financial performance substantially in the first half year and have maintained top line performance in a more challenging economic environment in the second half. This was helped by the structural improvements we made through the year, our continued focus on cost and ongoing improvements in our operations. Our recent transformational financing has strengthened our balance sheet and positions us well for profitable growth in the future.”

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