PANALPINAÆS FIRST-HALF NET INCOME UP 10.5%
The Panalpina Group, the forwarding and logistics services provider, said its first-half net income improved 10.5 percent to 51.7 million Swiss francs ($34.6 million), despite declining freight rates and depreciation of key currencies.
Earnings before interest and tax rose 15.3 percent to CHF 77.9 million ($52.1 million), due largely to a global cost management drive, Panalpina said. Extraordinary gains from sales of non-current assets lifted the operating result to CHF 4.2 million ($2.8 million).
Net revenues decreased 6.4 percent to CHF 2.48 billion ($1.66 billion), which Panalpina blamed on 'a general decrease in freight rates and to depreciation of the key currencies — especially the U.S. dollar and the euro — against the Swiss franc. Gross profit was also off slightly, 1.4 percent to CHF 624.3 million ($417.4 million).
Results by Panalpina's Asia-Pacific region were above expectations due to strong growth in air-freight exports and major improvements in transpacific routes, said Bruno Sidler, chief executive officer. The company's Asia/Middle East and East/Central Asia regions also did well, on the strong rise in oil and gas and project business.
Lower freight volumes in North America and Europe, coupled with economic problems and the devaluations in several Latin American countries impacted the Americas region's results. Europe business was hampered earlier in the year, but returned to normal conditions by mid-year, the company said.
Sidler said he expects Panalpina's consolidated result for 2002 should at least equal 2001.