Panalpina had a consolidated profit of 14.3 million Swiss francs ($15.3 million) in the first quarter compared to a loss of 40.9 million francs in the first quarter of 2012.
Net forwarding revenue was 1.6 billion francs in the first quarter of 2013, 4 percent more than in the same 2012 period.
“Our results for the first quarter of 2013 are in line with what we could expect in a continuously difficult market,” said Monika Ribar, chief executive officer of the company. “Ocean freight and logistics continued to grow strongly while air freight volumes were still soft.”
The company said "strong trade across the Pacific positively impacted gross profit in the America," which amounted to 113 million francs in the first quarter, up 5 percent. However, weak European imports affected gross profit in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region and Asia-Pacific. Gross profit in Asia-Pacific fell 8 percent to 72 million francs. The EMEA saw a slight increase of gross profit by 2 percent to 181 million francs. Europe recorded strong exports in ocean freight but weak overall imports, particularly from Asia.
The company said it shipped 7 percent more containerized cargo than in the first quarter 2012, with TEU count up 7 percent. Gross profit per TEU of ocean freight was 4 percent below the same period a year earlier, but 3 percent quarter on quarter.
"In air freight, the environment remained difficult. While the volumes of Panalpina’s customers in the high-tech, telecommunication and chemicals industries stayed weak, the volumes of consumer and retail, healthcare and oil and gas customers showed double-digit growth. Overall, volumes were down by 3 percent in the first quarter. Gross profit per ton of air freight decreased by 5 percent year on year but increased by 6 percent quarter on quarter."
Panalpina’s said its logistics division, which is increasingly offering value-added services, grew by a 13 percent. - Chris Dupin