K+N sees airfreight revenues and profits rise in H1

By Rachelle Harry

Kuehne + Nagel’s air division experienced an increase in revenues and profits in the first half of the year despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The forwarder recorded a 4.2% year-on-year increase in net turnover in the first half of this year to CHF2.5bn in 2020, while earnings before interest and tax (ebit) were up 4% to CHF181m.

However, gross profit in the first half was down 3.9% year on year, from CHF668m to CHF642m.

First half airfreight volumes were down by 15.5% to 687,000 tonnes.

Looking at second-quarter performance alone, K+N’s air division achieved a 15% year-on-year increase in net turnover to CHf 1.4bn this year, while  ebit climbed 17% to CHF110m and gross profit declined 2% to CHF335m.

Despite increased net turnover and ebit, K+N reported a 22% year-on-year decrease (to 315,000 tonnes) in airfreight volumes during the second quarter of this year.

The company said its air division’s performance was due to its air logistics business purchasing charter capacity for its customers “on a targeted basis”, as belly capacity on passenger flights cut because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These factors, combined with active cost management, produced attractive profitability along with expanded market share,” the company said in its half-year results.

“Further progress was made in the automation of processes, especially in the implementation of AirLOG, Kuehne+Nagel’s proprietary transport management solution and key to digitalisation.”

Looking forward, K+N noted: “With the gradual resumption of passenger services since June, a slight normalisation of the general market conditions is visible.”

As a group, K+N said it achieved “a good result” in light of the challenges presented by Covid-19.

The group experienced a 7.5% decrease in net turnover during the first half of 2020, from CHF10.6bn last year to CHF9.8bn this year.

Ebit declined 18% year on year to CHF419m and gross profit declined 9.1%, from CHF4bn in the first six months of 2019 to CHF3.7bn during the same period of this year.

During the second quarter, the group saw an 8.7% year-on-year decline in net profit – from CHF5.4bn in second quarter 2019 to CHF4.9bn in second quarter 2020.

Ebit decreased 12.6% to CHF235m this year, while gross profit fell 13% to CHF1.8bn.

Detlef Trefzger, chief executive of K+N, commented: “The crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, which led to a lockdown in most countries, had profound and sudden negative impacts on international trade.

“We took the right measures early on and successfully managed K+N under these difficult conditions.

“We expect the second half of the year to continue to be marked by major uncertainties, for which Kuehne+Nagel is well prepared thanks to its agile structure, rigorous cost management and high-quality service offerings.”

Joerg Wolle, chair of the board of directors at K+N, added: “The strategic course we have set at K+N in recent years is also having a positive effect in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

“The company has been consistently digitalised and thus remained fully operational throughout the crisis. The successful performance in the second quarter is owed to the good market position of K+N and the recovery of the Asian markets. “

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