March 2 - Despite Panalpina recording its highest air freight volumes since 2007, its gross profit margins in both air and ocean freight declined in 2016.

"While we continued to perform well on volumes, pressure on yields impacted our profits," said Panalpina ceo, Stefan Karlen.

Panalpina's air freight volumes increased by 10 percent in 2016, transporting 921,400 tons (835,880 tonnes) of air cargo, but gross profit per tonne fell to CHF646 (USD637.7), a decrease of 7.5 percent resulting in a gross profit of CHF595.2 million (USD587 million) compared to CHF584.1 million (USD576 million) in 2015.

In logistics, gross profit decreased by 5.8 percent to CHF385.7 million (USD384 million) compared to CHF409.3 million (USD403.6 million) in 2015. While Panalpina's ocean freight volumes decreased by 7 percent year-on-year.

Karlen added: "2016 represented a very challenging year. Much lower volumes from the oil and gas sector meant that we had to restructure that part of our business during the first half-year. In the second half, the Hanjin collapse and the very busy air freight peak season led to tight capacities and soaring rates which put strong pressure on our margins."