Home » 3PL/4PL, Breaking News » Panalpina reports double-digit EBIT, profit growth in 2018

Swiss freight forwarding and logistics company Panalpina announced ending 2018 with a historic record in air freight volumes and solid profitability in logistics although its ocean freight business declined.

“Panalpina performed strongly overall in 2018, which was another year with a very dynamic market environment,” said Panalpina CEO Stefan Karlen.

For the full year, the company reported that EBIT increased 15% to CHF118.4 million from CHF103.3 million in 2017, and consolidated profit increased to CHF75.7 million for a 32% expansion from CHF57.5 million in 2017.

“Air freight growth rates were strongest in the first quarter of the year, but markets slowed down in the following quarters,” said Panalpina CEO Stefan Karlen.

“For the first time in our history, we broke through the one-million ton barrier, further strengthening our position as one of the world’s top air freight providers,” Karlen added.

Panalpina’s air freight volumes increased 4% in 2018 to 1,038,678 tons, up from 2017. Compared to the same period last year, gross profit per ton increased 7% to CHF685, while overall gross profit increased to CHF711.7 million from 2017’s CHF639.4 million. But reported EBIT decreased from CHF110.3 million in 2017 to CHF108.2 million last year.

In ocean freight, volumes decreased 2% year-on-year. Panalpina transported 1,484,114 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 2018, down from 1,520,490 TEUs in 2017. Gross profit per TEU increased 7% to CHF301, bringing gross profit to CHF446.1 million compared to CHF427.2 million the preceding year. An EBIT loss in the first quarter of 2018, followed by three positive quarters, resulted in an EBIT loss for the full year of CHF1.8 million, improving over the loss of CHF15.1 million in 2017.

In logistics, gross profit increased 3% year-on-year to CHF341.9 million. For the full year, logistics posted the highest EBIT ever, CHF11.9 million, compared to CHF8.1 million for the same period last year.

“We have put in place a scalable operational platform and organization, and are now eager to push for accelerated, substantial organic and external growth,” said Karlen, looking at the year ahead.

In 2019, the highlight will be the launch of a new portal that fully digitalizes the company’s customer offerings in a modern, engaging manner, he continued. “In the long term, this portal will enable our customers to manage their supply chain needs proactively in a self-service mode, and facilitate an automated and fully integrated customer journey with personalized supply chain tools.”

Photo: Panalpina/Philip Yip

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