International freight forwarding and logistics company Panalpina ended the year 2018 with a historic record in air freight volumes, a recovering ocean freight product and solid profitability in logistics.
For the full year, Panalpina’s reported EBIT increased from CHF 103.3 million to CHF 118.4 million (+15 per cent) and the reported consolidated profit increased from CHF 57.5 million to CHF 75.7 million (+32 per cent).
In 2019, Panalpina says it will continue its strong customer focus, push for accelerated growth and launch an industry-leading customer portal.
“Panalpina performed strongly overall in 2018, which was another year with a very dynamic market environment,” says Panalpina CEO Stefan Karlen. “Air freight growth rates were strongest in the first quarter of the year, but markets slowed down in the following quarters.
“The softer than expected peak season meant that we could not pass on the higher procurement costs to our customers. For the first time in our history, we broke through the one-million tonne barrier, further strengthening our position as one of the world’s top air freight providers,” adds Karlen.
Panalpina’s Air Freight volumes increased 4.0 per cent in 2018 and for the first time in its history, the company transported more than one million tonnes – 1,038,678 tonnes specifically – of air cargo last year compared to 2017’s 995,900 tonnes.
From January to December 2018, air freight tonnage increased with every quarter. Compared to the same period the previous year, gross profit per tonne increased 7.0 per cent to CHF 685 (2017: CHF 642). At the same time overall gross profit increased to CHF 711.7 million (2017: CHF 639.4 million).
Reported EBIT in air freight decreased from CHF 110.3 million to CHF 108.2 million with the EBIT-to-gross-profit margin coming in at 15.2 per cent compared to 17.3 per cent a year before.
In Logistics, gross profit increased 3.0 per cent year-on-year to CHF 341.9 million (2017: CHF 331.1 million). For the full year, Logistics posted the highest EBIT ever, CHF 11.9 million, compared to CHF 8.1 million for the same period a year earlie.
Looking ahead, Karlen says: “We have put in place a scalable operational platform and organisation, and are now eager to push for accelerated, substantial organic and external growth.
“In 2019, we will even further increase our customer focus. The highlight will be the launch of the new portal that fully digitalises our customer offerings in a modern, engaging manner. 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 personalised supply chain tools,” Karlen adds.