Panalpina reports mixed Q1

Panalpina has announced its financial results for Q1 2015. It reported net forwarding revenue of CHF1.50bn, a decline of 5.83% compared to the first quarter of 2014. The company also recorded EBITDA of CHF38.79m, a decline of 0.83% year-on-year. Accordingly Panalpina’s Q1 EBITDA margin stood at 2.59%.

However the company did increase its operating result and profit in the first quarter of 2015. Consolidated profit increased by 10% to CHF19.6m while EBIT (adjusted for currency fluctuations) increased by 3% to CHF25.3m, helped by a positive quarter in Logistics.

Year-on-year, EBIT and conversion rate increased in Ocean Freight as volumes grew by 5% but decreased in Air Freight where volumes only grew slightly by 1%.

“In the first three months of the year, earnings were up, despite headwinds from a strong Swiss franc and a slowdown in volume growth in Air Freight,” said Panalpina’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ulber. “Group EBIT and EBIT-to-gross-profit margin increased both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter. Slightly better results in Ocean Freight and profitability in Logistics contributed to a decent first quarter.”

Panalpina’s Air Freight volumes grew 1% in the first quarter, against an estimated market growth of 3 to 4%, the discrepancy was mainly attributed to lower volumes in the automotive sector. Gross profit per ton decreased by 4% to CHF722, as a result gross profit fell by 3.71% to CHF148.0m.

Supported by high-volume contracts, Panalpina’s Ocean Freight volumes grew by 5% year-on-year, above an estimated market growth of 3%. Gross profit per TEU decreased 8% year-on-year to CHF308 but was up sequentially, resulting in a gross profit of CHF119.1m. Ocean Freight also posted an EBIT of CHF4.5m, an increase of 15.38% year-on-year.

The company’s exit from underperforming sites meant that the gross profit of the group’s Logistics product decreased by 3% to CHF 104.7m, but EBIT turned positive with a profit of CHF1.2m for the first quarter of 2015.