October 21 - "We have managed to keep up profitability in the first nine months of the year," says Panalpina ceo Peter Ulber.

Despite ongoing restructuring, Panalpina's group gross profit and EBIT both increased 1 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2014, reaching CHF1.178 billion (USD1.25 billion) and CHF94.4 million (USD100 million) respectively.

EBIT loss in logistics was reduced to CHF6.9 million (USD7.3 million) for the first nine months of the year, down from CHF26.8 million (USD28.4 million) in the same period of 2013.

Air freight and ocean freight volumes grew 4 percent and 8 percent year-to-date, but unit profitability decreased due to margin pressure and currency effects.

Panalpina posted a net forwarding revenue of CHF4.955 billion (USD5.26 billion) in the period covering January to September of this year, compared with a figure of CHF5.028 billion (USD5.34 billion) in the same period of 2013.

"With our logistics business likely to break even far earlier than anticipated, our main focus has now clearly shifted to improving our performance in ocean freight," said Ulber.

The company expects the air and ocean freight markets to grow by 3 and 4 percent respectively in 2014.