AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Kuehne + Nagel hails hot results, cooler on outlook

<p>Kuehne + Nagel has given a slightly reticent outlook for 2008 business, though it still expects above market average growth in key logistics activities, <em>Lloyd’s List</em> in London reports today (Tuesday, March 11).</p> <p>&#8220While 2007 was characterised by a favourable global economy and strong global trade, forecasts for 2008 are cautious,&#8221 chairman Klaus-Michael Kuehne said. </p> <p>&#8220In view of these circumstances, we will intensify our efforts to improve internal processes and optimise cost management.&#8221</p> <p>Overall net earnings of Kuehne + Nagel climbed by 15.9% to SFr531m ($536m), which was yet another record figure, but less than anticipated by the majority of analysts. </p> <p>The dividend is expected to rise from SFr1.50 per share to SFr1.90 per share on the 2007 result.</p> <p>Nevertheless, analysts were disappointed by an unexpected impairment charge in the road and rail logistics division of the Swiss logistics giant, which sent the share price down. Overland transport has been Kuehne + Nagel’s biggest worry for some time. </p> <p>The group is planning further investments to expand the transport network in this area.</p> <p>However, developments were satisfactory both in the area of sea and airfreight forwarding, as well as contract logistics. </p> <p>The goal for the current year was to again outperform the market and maintain stable margins in this businesses, the group said.</p> <p>Seafreight accounted for SFr9.64bn in turnover last year, which was almost half of the group’s total turnover of Sfr20.98bn.</p> <p>At 16%, turnover in the division rose slightly stronger than that of the whole group, which grew by 15.3%. </p> <p>Seafreight’s contribution to group profits is disproportionally higher than its share in turnover, having generated earnings before interest and taxes of SFr386m, out of a total of SFr686m.</p> <p>Volume growth in seafreight amounted to 15%, reaching more than 2.6m teu. The group said that customers benefited from &#8220strategic securing of freight capacity&#8221, in particular on Asian trades. In airfreight forwarding, the Swiss group grew three times as much as the market average in terms of volume. &#8220Airfreight exceeded all expectations&#8221, as Kuehne+Nagel put it.</p> <p>The group is competing with DHL over the role of leading global seafreight forwarder. </p> <p>According to Deutsche Post subsidiary DHL, the latter is the number one in terms of volume.</p> <p>Based on a total seafreight volume of 26.2m teu controlled by forwarders in 2006, DHL accounted for a share of 9.2%, with Kuehne+Nagel ranking second with 8.7%. Schenker&#47BAX, Panalpina and Expeditors trailed behind.</p> <p>DHL also said it was the worldwide number one in airfreight forwarding and contract logistics.</p> <br />