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Panalpina Group returns to profit

BASEL, Switzerland: The Panalpina Group has reported a consolidated net profit of CHF 11.7 million in 2013 on revenues of CH6.75 billion, compared to a loss of CHF 71.8 million on CHF 6.61 billion the previous year.

Provisions for fines dropped from CHF 59.2 million in 2012 to CHF 40.9 million last year although when combined with a fourth quarter impairment of CHF 19.1 million (2012: CHF 29.6 million), total non-recurring charges in 2013 were CHF 60.0 million – down from CHF 88.8 million in the previous year.

panprojectsPeter Ulber, who replaced CEO Monica Ribar in June last year, commented: "We recovered from 2012 and gained market share in a low-growth environment in 2013. I am happy to state that we outperformed the market in both air and ocean freight. But there is still a lot of room for profitability improvements, especially in logistics and ocean freight."

The company thinks the global airfreight market will grow 2-3 percent and ocean transport rise 4-5 percent in 2014 and expects corporate growth to exceed these forecasts.

"In 2014 we will focus on stabilizing our performance in airfreight and improving productivity and operating margin in ocean freight," said Ulber. The company says it will make turning around its loss-making logistics unit a "top priority" while exiting overland capacity commitments. "We see logistics as an important differentiator to complement our end-to-end offering," Ulber added.

Last year Panalpina reported a second consecutive CHF 39 million loss on its logistics services despite a 16 percent year-on-year increase in gross profit to CHF 437.7 million - caused primarily by "a number of loss-making facilities and unprofitable road activities."

Total liabilities for the group have risen from CHF 1.20 to CHF 1.24 billion in the last three years with total equity falling from CHF 928 million to CHF 709 million in the same period. Cash and cash equivalents fell from CHF 573.5 million in 2010 to CHF 336.9 million last year.

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