October 13, 2014: In the first nine months of 2014 the Kuehne + Nagel Group gained market shares and continuously increased volumes. Compared to the previous year's period, earnings for the period improved by 8.6 per cent (currency adjusted by 12.4 per cent) to CHF 480 million.
EBIT increased by 8.2 per cent (currency adjusted by 12.1 per cent) to CHF 607 million and the operational result (EBITDA) by 4.6 per cent (currency adjusted by 8.3 percent) to CHF 743 million. Net turnover of CHF 13,004 million was slightly above the previous year's level, currency adjusted it increased by 4.7 per cent.
Kuehne + Nagel grew twice as fast as the market with seafreight volumes increasing by 8 per cent. In the first nine months of the year the company handled 2.9 million TEU, an additional 211,000 TEU more than in the same period of 2013. In a difficult market environment the volume development in South America was rather slow. Import activities into the USA increased and Kuehne + Nagel gained additional market shares particularly in the European and North American import business. On a 9-month comparison Kuehne + Nagel was able to keep the EBIT-to-gross profit margin (conversion rate) stable at a high level with 30.2 per cent (previous year: 30.6). Due to negative currency effects gross profit and the operational result were slightly below the previous year's figures. Currency adjusted gross profit increased by 4.1 per cent and the operational result by 2.4 per cent.
The situation in the international airfreight market stabilised with volumes growing between 3 and 4 per cent. Kuehne + Nagel increased tonnage by 5 per cent, representing 40,000 tons, during the first nine months. Increased volumes in the European export business and strong growth of specific services for customers from the automotive, pharmaceutical and aviation industries contributed to keep momentum high. The perishables business grew, especially in the South American trade lanes. Compared to the previous year's period, EBIT-to-gross profit margin improved from 25.1 to 27.5 per cent. The operational result increased by 5.9 per cent (currency adjusted by 10.8 per cent).
The systematic implementation of the "Road 2 Profit" strategy led to improved results in the third quarter. Sustainable progress was made in the European groupage activities, the overseas business and in the provision of specific industry solutions. Currency adjusted net turnover grew by 3.2 per cent in the first nine months and the operational result improved from CHF 22 million to CHF 47 million. EBIT increased by CHF 27 million compared to the previous year's period.
The reshaping of the contract logistics project portfolio towards focusing on complex and scalable solutions is proving effective. Target industries include automotive, high-tech, aviation, pharmaceutical and consumer goods. In addition, the concentration on end-to-end solutions generated new and profitable projects for key accounts. In the first nine months EBIT improved by 8.1 per cent (currency adjusted by 10.1 per cent) compared to the previous year. Currency adjusted net turnover increased by 5.4 per cent; EBIT margin was at 3.3 per cent (previous year: 3.1 per cent).
Dr. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of the Kuehne + Nagel Group said: "Part of our organic growth strategy is to concentrate on internationally operating customer groups, profitable growth and selective market share expansion. Additional key success factors include our strict cost control and the continuous enhancement of innovative solutions. This is clearly demonstrated by the positive development of our overland operations. The consistent implementation of our market strategies is leading to sustainable success."