K+N’s air division earnings boosted by Apex deal

By Rachelle Harry

Forwarder Kuehne+Nagel (K+N) has more than doubled its earnings in the first half of 2021.

The company said that “continued recovery of the global economy led to strong demand for logistics services”, which in turn helped it to achieve group net turnover of CHF13.3bn — 35% higher than the same period last year.  

The company also achieved a 147% year-on-year increase in earnings before interest and tax (ebit), up to to CHF1bn.

Detlef Trefzger, chief executive of K+N, says: “This year, we are experiencing uniquely high consumer demand combined with supply chain uncertainty. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our employees, a successfully implemented strategy and our agile logistics solutions, we have once again met the increased service requirements of our customers in a challenging market environment. We expect demand to remain strong and look forward with confidence to continuing the positive development.”

K+N’s air logistics division achieved increased net turnover and ebit in the first six months of this year, “despite global capacity constraints”.

At CHF4bn, net turnover for the division posted in the first half of 2021 was 62% higher than the same period last year.

The air logistics division’s ebit increased by 124% year on year, up to CHF406m.

The company’s airfreight volumes in the first half of 2021 were up 44% on the same period of last year at 988,000 tonnes.

The company said its acquisition of Apex Logistics in May, as it looked to expand its reach in Asia, contributed to its air division’s strong performance.

“[Apex] is one of Asia’s leading freight forwarders, especially on the transpacific trade route,” K+N said in its financial results.

“Together, K+N and Apex offer their customers a compelling value proposition in the competitive Asian logistics industry, especially in e-commerce fulfilment, hi-tech and e-mobility.”

The company added that its “tailor-made customer solutions such as combined sea- and airfreight” and “transport solutions for pharma and essential goods, as well as e-commerce” helped its airfreight division to meet demand.

Demand for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) also increased during the first half of this year.

In response, K+N entered into sustainable airfreight partnerships with American Airlines, IAG Cargo (British Airways) and Air France-KLM Martinair Cargo.

Joerg Wolle, chairman of the board of directors at K+N, commented: “K+N closed the second quarter of 2021 with an absolute record result. This reflects the strategic course we have set and the initiatives we have taken in recent years, as well as our early and successful pursuit of digital leadership.

“In these special times, our company stands for entrepreneurial vision and for a highly motivated team. Last but not least, the targeted expansion of our positions in Asia is increasingly paying off.”

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