Panalpina appeals fines

SWISS logistics supplier Panalpina says it will appeal against its price-fixing fines totalling CHF59m (US$63m) after suffering a CHF40m ($43m) loss in profits for the first quarter of this year.
The European Union Antitrust Commission penalised the group in March, along with several other freight forwarding companies, for its involvement in cartels, which violated surcharge rules between 2002 and 2007.
Panalpina revealed its net forwarding revenue in the first quarter dropped seven per cent to CHF1.54bn ($1.69bn).
Meanwhile, gross profit amounted to CHF 364m ($393m), a decrease of three per cent year-over-year compared with the first three months of 2011.
In contrast, volumes in ocean freight reached a record high climbing seven per cent year-on-year.
Confirming the company’s appeal bid, chief executive officer Monika Ribar states: “We believe the amount [of the fine] is not justified, which is why we are going to appeal the decision to the European General Court.”
“While we did very well in ocean freight, gaining market share, we knew that the first quarter would be a difficult one for air freight, especially in comparison to last year’s exceptional first quarter,” she adds.
“In anticipation of the difficult market environment and a challenging 2012 we already reacted last year and introduced cost-containment measures. 
“This led to a flat development of the operating expenses quarter-on-quarter.”
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