Cargo volumes down at Swissport in first half

By Damian Brett

Swissport recorded a 5.4% year-on-year decline in cargo volumes in the fist half of the year due the sale of businesses and a weaker cargo market.

The ground handler, which has 115 cargo warehouses, handled 2.23m tonnes of airfreight in the first half of 2019 compared with 2.35m tons last year.

The sale of the cargo handling business in France, which was successfully completed in June 2018, accounts for 2.1 p.p. of the overall 5.4% volume decline. The remaining 3.3% volume reduction are roughly in line with the 3.6% contraction of the global air cargo market.

According to IATA, June 2019 marked the eighth consecutive month with declining year-on-year air cargo volumes.

Overall revenues at the handler increased by 6.1% year on year to €1.5bn and operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and ammortisation (ebitda) was up 7.2% to 121.9m.

“Our solid half-year results were driven by profitable revenue growth and our continued efforts to further improve our cost efficiency,” said Eric Born, president and chief executive of Swissport International. “As the global aviation market now shows visible signs of a slowdown, we are implementing additional measures to safeguard earnings and to improve the Group’s profitability in the medium term.”

In August 2019, Swissport has successfully refinanced existing corporate debt, well ahead of the 2021/2022 maturities.

“The refinancing at more favorable terms also significantly increased Swissport’s cash position,” the company said.

“This provides additional stability and strategic flexibility and enables the company to further expand its leading global market position through organic growth, direct market entries or selective bolt-on acquisitions.”


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