Profits rise at Panalpina

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Panalpina produced a gross profit increase of six per cent to CHF 403 million (£278.3m) in the third quarter of 2013, gaining market share in both ocean and air freight.

EBITDA was up from CHF17.5m (£12.1m) to CHF48.3m (£33.3m). Sales were down fractionally at CHF1.7bn (£1.2bn).

Panalpina’s Logistics division showed further gross profit growth as it made more inroads into value-added services.

“With the backdrop of a continuously slow market, our results for the third quarter are in line with expectations,” said CEO Peter Ulber.

“We outperformed the market both in Ocean Freight and Air Freight in terms of volumes. Gross profit grew across all regions and products, albeit only moderately in Air Freight. But volatile and increasing rates both in air and ocean freight slightly impacted unit profitability. Logistics continued to show double-digit growth in terms of gross profit as a consequence of our investments in Value-Added Services.”

* Panalpina entered into a preliminary agreement to settle a US class action lawsuit alleging anticompetitive industry practices regarding certain freight surcharges. Panalpina agreed to pay an amount of $35m, which includes previously received proceeds of $5.8m, in an unrelated class action against various airlines. The settlement is subject to US court approval and will impact the fourth quarter 2013 results.

The lawsuit, which involves a number of leading freight forwarders, was launched in 2008. This case was settled with the US DOJ in 2010 by entering into a plea agreement. Panalpina agreed to enter into the current settlement agreement to avoid cost and risk of trial.

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