Despite gross profit totaling CHF363 million in the second quarter of 2012 — a 2 percent, year-over-year, decline — Panalpina saw above-average volume growth in its airfreight and seafreight sectors. Unfortunately, this growth couldn’t offset the 37.5 percent, year-over-year, profit decline the forwarder posted during the second quarter.
Panalpina’s airfreight volumes fell 3 percent, year-over-year, from April to June, a slight improvement over the global airfreight sector’s second-quarter decline of 4 percent. Even so, this loss contributed to the 6 percent, year-over-year, contraction in gross profit the forwarder recorded in its airfreight sector during the second quarter.
Panalpina saw less dramatic declines in other categories, however, with gross profit per tonne only sliding 3 percent, year-over-year; it was flat from a quarter-over-quarter perspective.
The global forwarder did post some gains, however. Net forwarding revenue swelled to CHF1.7 billion during the second quarter, a 2.4 percent, year-over-year, surge. Panalpina also achieved record-breaking growth in its Latin American sector, with gross profit rising 7.5 percent, year-over-year to CHF43 million in the second quarter.
Unfortunately, declining volumes in the Asia-Pacific largely offset what was gained in Latin America. Panalpina posted a gross profit of CHF75 million in the Asia-Pacific during the second quarter, a 3.8 percent, year-over-year, decline. The forwarder’s volumes also stalled in the EMEA region and in North America during the second quarter, with gross profit in these regions plunging 2.2 percent and 5.7 percent, year-over-year, respectively. In a press release, Panalpina attributed these declines to a slowdown in exports to mature markets.
Panalpina CEO Monika Ribar said there’s reason for optimism, however. “We anticipate a soft recovery of the airfreight market in the second half of 2012 and continued market growth in oceanfreight,” she said in a statement. Ribar added that significant airfreight and seafreight rate increases, which affected Panalpina’s profitability during the second quarter, appear unlikely.
Still, Panalpina expects the global airfreight market to slow by 1 percent in 2012, according to the press release.