Dutch freight forwarder Ceva said results in the fourth quarter of 2013 demonstrated its continuing business recovery with EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) up 57 percent year-on-year to US$77 million.
Cost reduction measures implemented in 2013 as well as improved contract logistics performance contributed to the higher adjusted EBITDA, said CEO Xavier Urbain, who took over as the company’s chief executive in January.
“The results of the team’s efforts in addressing underperforming contracts in our contract logistics business significantly increased the company’s adjusted EBITDA compared to a year ago. We are also seeing evidence of improvement in our freight management business as actions to strengthen our freight management organization gain traction in the marketplace and with our customers,” he added.
The improved earnings came despite a decline in revenue in the fourth quarter ended December 31 of 9.4 percent to $2.1 billion.
For the whole year 2013, adjusted EBITDA fell 2.8 percent to $277 million. As a result of cost cuts, EBITDA for the second half of 2013 increased 20.8 percent compared to the same period in 2012.
In contract logistics, EBITDA increased 23 percent for full-year 2013 compared to 2012. But earnings in freight forwarding declined 67.7 percent mainly due to weaknesses in airfreight, principally out of Asia.
Last year’s revenue decreased 8.3 percent to $8.5 billion due to weaker freight volumes out of Asia and to recapitalization in the first half. In Asia, revenue declined 12 percent largely on lower airfreight tonnage.