Ceva pushed sales up two per cent to 1.7bn euros in the first quarter, and is now considering an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange
Despite the rise in sales, tough market conditions meant that group EBITDA slipped back seven per cent to 66m euros.
In the first quarter, contract logistics revenues increased three per cent driven by a strong performance from the automotive sector, particularly in Asia and North America, as well as strong year-on-year growth in the industrial sector.
Freight management revenues were flat overall, but ocean freight performed well following significant management focus in 2011.[asset_ref id=”1055″] John Pattullo
CEO John Pattullo said: “Even in these more difficult markets, Ceva continues to make progress. Our ocean business performed well and we continued to make solid gains in contract logistics driven by excellent performance from the automotive and industrial sectors. The airfreight market continues to be challenging, with Ceva’s performance mirroring that of many of our competitors.”
The group expects to see modest growth in airfreight in the second half of the year as well as continued growth in ocean and contract logistics. “The focus will be to grow market share,” said Pattullo.
In airfreight, he said, the mix of traffic was skewed to the trans-Pacific market and high-tech products. “If we can broaden that, we have platform for further growth.”
In February, the group, which is owned by Apollo Global Management, completed a programme of refinancing that eliminated some 500m euros of debt and 350m euros of securities in parent group Ceva Investments Ltd. Pattullo said the main benefit was to remove a potential customer negative by strengthening the group’s balance sheet.
Ceva has also filed documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission opening the way for and initial public offering which, it has been suggested, could raise up to $400m (£250m).
However, Pattullo said that no decision had yet been taken on when, or even whether, it would go ahead with an IPO.