Kuehne & Nagel first quarter profit down

Schindellegi, Switzerland: Kuehne & Nagel reported a 14% decline in first-quarter profit due to a one-off anti-trust fine and cost pressures but said it is confident intensified cost management will improve the second-half performance.

Turnover at  CHF4.83bn remained stable compared to the previous year’s period with currency adjusted increase of 5.4%. Gross profit improved by 3% (currency adjusted by 8.1%) to CHF1.5bnwhile the operational result (EBITDA) declined by 12% to CHF218m, including the one-off item for the antitrust fine to CHF153m.

Net earnings decreased by 14% to CHF133m  including the one-off item to CHF 68m.  “In the first quarter we had to cope with a number of adverse factors,” said Reinhard Lange, chief executive Kuehne & Nagel.

“We will counteract this trend with strict cost control and measures to improve productivity. Furthermore, profit margins declined in sea and airfreight. In addition, there are one-off charges due to a high antitrust fine, which was reported on March 28, 2012.

“As a consequence of the first quarter experiences, we have intensified our cost management, and are confident that the measures implemented as well as solid growth will contribute to an improvement of results in the second half of the year,” said Lange.