K+N reports record air volumes and revenues despite weakening market

Photo: Atlas Air Worldwide

Kuehne+Nagel has reported record airfreight volumes and revenues for 2022 despite performance weakening in the second half of the year.

The world’s largest airfreight forwarder reported a full-year air revenue increase of 7.6% year on year to Sfr12.4bn, earnings before interest and tax (ebit) for its air business was up 20.7% year on year to Sfr1.4bn and air volumes increased 0.5% to 2.2m tons.

Air revenues, ebit and volumes were all at record levels for the forwarder thanks to its acquisition of Apex and high airfreight rates as the market continued to face capacity constraints.

However, performance weakened as the year progressed and in the fourth quarter, air revenues were down 37.7% year on year to Sfr2.8bn, air ebit slipped 50.2% to Sfr260m and volumes were down 15.9% to 545,000 tons.

The forwarder’s figures would have been affected by a weakening air cargo market as the year progressed. At the same time, year-on-year comparisons were boosted in the first five months of 2022 by the inclusion of Apex Logistics, which began to be included in results from May 2021 following its acquisition by K+N.

The forwarder pointed out that despite the declines as the year progressed, air margins remained high – compared with historic levels – during the year.

“Demand for cargo capacity remained high on most trade routes,” the company said. “Following the turbulence in commercial aviation in the summer of 2022, supply of capacity remained volatile in the second half of the year.”

Meanwhile, the overall business – including sea, road and contract logistics – registered a 20% increase in revenues to Sfr39.4bn, ebit was up 28% to Sfr3.8bn and net earnings increased 30% to Sfr2.8bn.

“All business units contributed significantly to the company’s success,” K+N said.

“Due to the overall economic slowdown, the result in the fourth quarter of 2022 was weaker compared to the rest of the year.

“From today’s perspective, the macroeconomic environment will remain challenging in 2023 due to geopolitical developments and inflation.

“However, we expect the positive growth and earnings trend that has continued for many years to continue this year, albeit excluding the exceptional business volumes and results in financial years 2021 and 2022, which were the result of a corona-related special economic situation.”

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]