Kuehne + Nagel has increased its profit margin by 12.3 per cent during the first half of 2008 despite the economic slowdown, but anticipates a slower growth rate for the second half of the year owing to the “unfavourable economic forecast”.
EBITDA reached CHF 530 million (£266 million) while turnover increased by 7.3 per cent to CHF 10.7 billion (£5.4 billion).
The margin for Kuehne + Nagel’s contract logistics business increased from 5.2 to 5.5 per cent, with net turnover rising by 5.9 per cent thanks to major contracts with Airbus and Beiersdorf.
The EBITDA margin for the company’s road and rail logistics remained stable at 1.7 per cent, with the net turnover for the first half of the year up by 13.8 per cent, compared to the first half of 2007.
Container volumes for the seafreight arm of the Kuehne + Nagel business grew by 7.4 per cent, as the group reported strong growth on trade from North America to Europe and Asia, however growth on Asia to Europe trading slowed. EBITDA increased, albeit minimally, from 4.2 per cent last year to 4.3 per cent.
The EBITDA margin for airfreight was better, rising from 5.6 per cent in 2007 to 6.1 per cent in 2008, with operational results up 20.6 per cent.
Klaus Herms, chief executive officer at Kuehne + Nagel, said: “We prepared for any possible economic slowdown in good time, focusing on strict cost management and profitable growth.
“We are satisfied with the half-year result, which reaffirms the sustainability and stability of our business model even in difficult economic times.”