Norbert Dentressangle saw operating profit in its transport business rise by some 28 per cent last year, though its logistics business found the market tougher with a three per cent fall in operating profit.
Overall, sales were up 8.5 per cent to €3.9bn and while EBITDA was down slightly, the group reported a 9.1 per cent rise in EBITA to €142.3m.
The group said that improved profitability in the Transport division was mostly explained by both the teams’ capacity to adapt and respond to higher volumes of customer service and the excellent performance of pallet distribution activities. Operating profit was up 27.6 per cent to €60.4m.
The operating profit generated by Logistics amounted to €77.9m a fall of 3.2 per cent against 2011. The group said that the operating margin stood at 4.4 per cent of turnover, reflecting a good performance despite a high basis of comparison with the previous year. The Netherlands, France, Italy and UK posted the best performance;
Freight Forwarding has grown rapidly and last year produced an operating income of €1m million compared to €300,000 in 2011.
Hervé Montjotin, chief executive officer, said: “Despite a worsening and volatile economic environment, we continued to gain market share in our three divisions… Our financial structure has been further strengthened and our activities have continued to grow through international expansion. As a result, we can build upon these key success elements to further execute our strategic plan, through both organic growth and targeted acquisitions.”
Looking ahead, the group said it did not anticipate any significant downturn in business, “but, in an unpredictable environment, rigorous management and adaptability will remain key success factors. 2012 has strengthened the group’s financial resources and strategic fundamentals.
“As a result, Norbert Dentressangle confirms its ambitions for growth in 2013, aiming at developing its value-added transport activities, at exporting its logistics expertise beyond Europe and extending its international freight forwarding network. In addition, Norbert Dentressangle will seize any new external growth opportunity which meets its development strategic plan.”