The logistics company Kuehne + Nagel has reported a 27 per cent increase in its net profit for the first six months to SFr265.4 million ($221 million).This content was published on July 23, 2007 - 12:21
The company, which is based at Schindellegi in canton Schwyz, posted turnover of SFr9.97 billion, as air and ocean shipments increased.
"We have maintained the first quarter's strong momentum and achieved convincing growth rates across all business units," said chief executive Klaus Herms on Monday.
Earnings before interest tax, depreciation and depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose 12.6 per cent to SFr468 million, while earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) rose to SFr346 million from SFr294 million in the comparable period last year.
"The figures are all in all quite sound. But Ebitda and Ebit figures were around two per cent below our expectations. These minor deviations were caused by the sea freight unit," said Oppenheim analyst Markus Hesse.
The company's sea freight and air freight businesses "performed very strongly" according to another analyst, Axel Funhoff at ING Equity Markets.
Kuehne + Nagel, which is currently looking for acquisitions, has said it aims to continue to grow at double the market average in sea and air freight in 2007, while maintaining high margins in both business fields.
The company is considering purchases in Britain, France and Italy valued at as much as SFr600 million.
Chief financial officer Gerard van Kesteren told Reuters the firm expected to make takeovers in the rail and road logistics unit by the beginning of 2008 and that it aimed to double sales in the unit to around SFr5 billion by 2009.
Kuehne + Nagel, which competes with another Swiss firm, Panalpina, and Deutsche Post, has benefited from increasing global trade volumes and demand for advanced logistics.
It said the results for the first half of the year confirmed both the efficiency of its business model and the group's strong position in the global logistics market.
Against this background, it said management was "confident" it would continue the "good performance" in the second half of the year.
swissinfo with agencies
Kuehne + Nagel is the world's largest sea freight forwarder, although it does not operate its own container ships.
Its other divisions are air freight, a rail and road logistics.
The company share price has risen by more than 35% this year.
The International Monetary Fund expects world trade volume to gain 7% this year.
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