Swiss forwarder Panalpina reported a first-half net profit of US$36.1 million, up 20.1 percent over 1H17. Gross profit (what some forwarders call net revenue) was up 10.6 percent for the half to $744.4 million, while operating profit (EBIT) jumped 30.2 percent to $54.7 million. This strong performance comes after a long period during which Panalpina has struggled to match results reported by its competitors.
Referring specifically to the company’s air freight operations, gross profit increased to $354.7 million and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in air freight increased a healthy 20 percent to $39.1 million to $53.4 million.
Looking forward, CEO Stefan Karlen said, “For the second half-year we expect accelerated volume growth for our Air and Ocean Freight activities. 2017 was a record air freight year though, so the comparison will be tough, and uncertainties in international relationships will increase volatility in the air and ocean freight markets and possibly change trade patterns.”
The forwarder also released news of its plans to expand it perishables network in South Africa by acquiring the majority stake of Johannesburg-based perishables specialist Skyservices, supporting the transportation of perishables from South Africa to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the U.S.