Home » 3PL/4PL, Breaking News » Panalpina reverts to profit in 2011

Panalpina achieved a profit of CHF127 million (US$139 million) in 2011 from a 2010 loss of $28 million, supported by organic growth across all regions and product divisions.

The Switzerland-based logistics and freight forwarding company said it achieved an ebitda of CHF212 million in 2011, which was negatively impacted by CHF27 million through currency translation. Ebitda-to-gross profit margin increased to 14.4 percent, up from 14.1 percent in 2010. from 14.1 percent in 2010.

“We’ve made very good progress in 2011,” said CEO Monika Ribar. “We enhanced our customer portfolio, we strengthened our product divisions with key hires and innovations, we made two acquisitions and we also expanded our network organically, particularly in emerging markets. On the volume side we did not reach all of our goals.”

Net forwarding revenue in 2011 fell 9 percent to CHF6.5 billion from CHF7.1 billion in 2010, reflecting the low freight rates prevailing in the market in last year.

All regions and product divisions recorded an organic gross profit increase, the company said in a statement on March 7. Gross profit came in at a flat CHF1.4 billion despite a declining air freight market and falling rates, but rose to 12 percent year-on-year with currency adjustment.

North America and Latin America recorded the strongest gross profit increase, closely followed by Asia-Pacific, which recorded the highest ever full-year gross profit (CHF313 million). The Asia-Pacific region now weighs in with 21 percent of Panalpina’s gross profit.

Full-year gross profit growth in the product divisions was led by air freight, which was mainly driven by strong yields in a declining market.

In ocean freight, volumes reached a new record in 2011, with a growth of 6 percent that was in line with the market. Panalpina transported 1.3 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) compared to 1.2 million TEUs in 2010.

But air freight volume fell by 5 percent to 848,000 tons from 892,000 tons in 2010, negatively affected by the profitability restoration program.

While Panalpina focused on restoring profitability in 2011, it also made significant investments, including a new ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) contract for two Boeing 747-8Fs. It also launched more than 50 new direct less-than-container-load ocean freight services mainly in the Asia-Europe and intra-Asia trades.

For 2012, Ribar forecasts a challenging year. “Expectations for near-term volumes are soft, especially in air freight where we expect to outperform the market as of the second quarter.”

The firm anticipates a zero market growth for the full year in air freight and a market growth of 4 percent to 5 percent in ocean freight.


Photo: Panalpina

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