March 7 - The Panalpina Group, which handles project cargo through its Panprojects division, can look back on a successful 2011 after further expanding its profit margins and achieving a consolidated profit of USD 138.3 million.

Currency adjusted, gross profit increased by 12 percent year-on-year, supported by organic growth across all regions and product divisions.

"We've made very good progress in 2011," said CEO Monika Ribar. "It was a successful year where we achieved a lot. We enhanced our customer portfolio, we strengthened our product divisions with key hires and innovations, we made two acquisitions and we also expanded our network organically, particularly in emerging markets. On the volume side we did not reach all of our goals."

As announced earlier, the Group signed a new ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) contract for two leading-edge technology Boeing 747-8F. The aircraft will go into service in the first half of 2012 and operate inPanalpina's own-controlled air freight network, replacing two Boeing 747-400F. With the new aircraft, Panalpina is optimally set up to meet industry specific requirements and the increasing demand for large-freighter capacity, especially in the healthcare, high-tech, automotive and oil and gas industries, it says.

Panprojects works to provide transport solutions for the construction of industrial plants and large infrastructure projects as well as the manufacturing of oversized equipment and modules as well as very heavy and oversized loads.