April 23 - Swiss forwarder and logistics services provider Panalpina had a steady to start to 2015, reporting a consolidated profit of CHF19.6 million (USD20.31 million) in the first quarter of the year, up 10 percent over 2014.
Earnings before interest and tax increased by 3 percent year-on-year to CHF25.3 million (USD26.21 million). However, group revenue fell from CHF1.596 billion (USD1.65 billion) year-over-year to CHF1.503 billion (USD1.56 billion).
Supported by high-volume contracts, Panalpina's ocean freight volumes grew 5 percent year-on-year - above an estimated market growth of 3 percent. However, Panalpina's air freight volumes only rose by 1 percent in the first quarter, against an estimated market growth of 3 to 4 percent, caused by lower volumes in the automotive sector.
"With the economic environment weaker than expected and uncertainties around the development of the oil price, the market is difficult to read," said Panalpina ceo Peter Ulber. "All the more, we will focus on strategy execution as we transform our business. Overall, we remain cautiously optimistic and expect to grow in line with the market in air freight and outperform the market in ocean freight."