K+N sees airfreight volumes grow ahead of the market in Q2

Kuehne+Nagel (K+N) recorded an above market increase in airfreight volumes in the second quarter of the year, while overall group profits were also on the rise.
The Switzerland-based freight forwarder saw its airfreight volumes increase by 15.7% year on year during the April-June period to 441,000 tonnes compared with overall market growth of around 4%.
Earlier this week, rival Panalpina reported a 3.7% increase in airfreight volumes during the second quarter.
Revenues from its airfreight business increased 27% to Sfr1.1bn and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) reached were up 27.8% to Sfr79m.
The company said its airfreight division benefitted from its industry-specific solutions, while its digital products played a role in overall growth (see related articles). Acquisitions also played a big role, contributing to 10.7% of the volume growth over the first half.
In September last year, the company received approval for its takeover of Kenya-based perishables specialist Trillvane.
Meanwhile, in July, the company announced the purchase of Commodity Forwarders Inc in the US. At the time, K+N said that the two acquisitions would add more than 150,000 tons of annual perishables traffic to its network, although it did not specify how much of this would be airfreight.
The company said that strong growth in pharma, healthcare, aerospace and e-commerce contributed to higher gross profit margin, while it also recoded strong growth in North American and Asian exports.
Meanwhile, the overall company saw second-quarter revenues increase by 15.2% year on year to Sfr5.2bn and, EBIT jumped 9.1% to Sfr265m and earnings for the period stood at Sfr206, up 7.9%.
K+N chief executive Detlef Trefzger said: “Kuehne + Nagel remains en route for success in the first half of 2018. We achieved strong volume growth across all business units.
“This growth combined with active cost management delivered a significant improvement in results confirming the consistency of  the implementation of our business strategy. Our high level of industry-specific competence and our digital solutions are key factors here.
“We monitor the volatile markets and geopolitical developments very closely. Despite this market environment we are confident and ambitious as we enter the second half of the year.”

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