July 14, 2015: With net turnover and gross profit slightly decreasing, the Kuehne + Nagel Group improved its operational result (EBITDA) by 2.1 per cent in the first half of 2015.
Earnings for the period increased by 4.2 per cent to CHF 326 million in comparison to the previous year's period, despite a negative currency impact of 7.3 per cent.
Dr. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of the Kuehne + Nagel International AG said: "Given the demanding market environment and currency volatilities, we are very pleased about the development of our results in the first half of 2015. The solid performance in seafreight and the increased profitability in airfreight are to be highlighted. Due to our proven business model and the consistent implementation of our global strategy, we were able to increase the earnings for the period despite the stronger Swiss Franc."
EBIT increased by 8.5 percent
In seafreight Kuehne + Nagel gained market shares in the U.S. import trade lanes as well as in the LCL (Less-than-Container Load) business. In comparison to the previous year's period, however, container volume decreased by 1.8 per cent due to the concentration on higher margin business and the continuous weakness of market volumes in the Asia-Europe trade lanes. Profitability clearly improved in this business unit: Gross profit per TEU increased by 4.4 per cent and the EBIT-to-gross profit margin (conversion rate) improved from 29.1 per cent to remarkable 30.8 per cent. In comparison to the previous year's period EBIT increased by 8.5 per cent.
The excellent performance in airfreight continued. With a 5.2 per cent increase in tonnage Kuehne + Nagel grew faster than the market. Significant volume increases were realized in exports from Europe, North America and Asia. In addition, the expansion of services for customers from the segments perishables, pharma and industrial goods contributed to the favorable development. The conversion rate improved from 27.8 per cent in the first half year 2014 to 30.6 percent in the first six months of 2015. EBIT increased in comparison to the previous year's period by 11.5 per cent.
acquisition of ReTrans
The result in the overland business remained stable. Whereby net turnover declined by 16.6 per cent due to the discontinuation of project business and lower rates as a result of lower diesel price, the reduction in earnings, however, was almost compensated. EBIT decreased from CHF 16 million in the previous year's period to CHF 14 million in the first half year of 2015. The recently announced acquisition of ReTrans, a U.S.- based provider of multimodal transportation management solutions, will expand both the business base and the product portfolio.
Volume reductions in existing business with customers in Western Europe and the restructuring of customer businesses in the United Kingdom negatively affected the results. Furthermore, the strong Swiss Franc influenced the development of net turnover and gross profit disproportionally in comparison to other business units of the Group. EBIT decreased by CHF 14 million to CHF 56 million compared with the same period in the previous year.
Karl Gernandt, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kuehne + Nagel International AG: "In the first half of 2015 the increased profitability confirmed the strength of the Kuehne + Nagel Group and the diversified service portfolio supported growth, especially in airfreight. Therefore we are confident regarding the further development, although the macroeconomic environment deserves close attention."