Panalpina sees Q3 volumes fall in ‘soft’ market

Citing a “soft market” for airfreight in the third quarter, Swiss forwarding giant Panalpina reported lackluster Q3 results. The company also said the Swiss franc’s stronger performance against the euro and continued weakness in the oil, gas and automotive markets contributed to its decline.

Net income for Panalpina was US$25 million, a 4.7 percent drop, compared to the previous year’s Q3. The forwarder’s net revenue for the period fell 7.4 percent, year-over-year, to $381 million, while operating income (EBIT) dropped by 4.6 percent, y-o-y, to $33 million.

“In the first nine months of the year we succeeded in keeping EBIT and consolidated profit at previous year levels, despite a contracting air market in the third quarter, our exposure to the oil and gas industry and historically high IT investments,” said Panalpina CEO Peter Ulber. During the nine-month period from January to September 2015, the overall air cargo industry grew by less than 1 percent, he added, while Panalpina’s volumes fell by 2 percent, y-o-y.

Meanwhile, Panalpina said it gained a “major telecoms player in Central America” as a client, which it said “demonstrates the success of our strategy.”

Ulber said that, for the rest of the year and into 2016, controlling costs “with great discipline” will be a priority as Panalpina implements its new IT system and rolls out other initiatives to improve productivity. “The air and ocean freight markets will continue to be soft at best, and a rebound of the oil price in the near future seems unlikely,” he said.

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