K+N sees profits and airfreight demand climb in 2015

Switzerland-based freight forwarder Kuehne+Nagel managed to improve profitability last year despite revenue declines, while airfreight volumes jumped in a “stagnant” market.
The company saw revenues decline by 4.4% year on year in 2015 to Sfr20.3bn, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 3.6% on the previous year to Sfr1bn and net earnings jumped by 5.4% to Sfr679m.
It said revenues were affected by the strong Swiss franc while profitability improved thanks to the “effectiveness of our efficiency programme”.

Turning to airfreight, K+N recorded a 4.7% increase in demand to 1.2m tonnes which it said “reaffirmed its position” as the second largest global airfreight forwarder. This improvement came despite “stagnant to slightly declining global demand”.
“A key factor in the good performance was the focus on industry-specific airfreight solutions, which led to significant business wins in the pharmaceutical, aerospace and perishables sectors,” the forwarder said.
K+N added that its FreightNet online booking portal, which provides instant quotes for airfreight services and freight tracking, also proved to be “an effective new sales channel”.
In contrast, Switzerland-based rival Panalpina saw airfreight demand decline by 2.5% in 2015 on the back of weakness in the oil and gas market and one automotive customer’s decision to migrate to ocean transport.
K+N chief executive Detlef Trefzger said: “We are proud that in a challenging environment we were able to further increase profitability and once again achieve a new record result.
“This positive performance was driven by both the effectiveness of our efficiency programmes and the successful implementation of strategic initiatives.
“It is our customer proximity and understanding of future customer requirements, that enables us to innovatively expand our service portfolio in line with the market.”

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