Panalpina saw operating profit (EBIT) slip to CHF 24.0 million in the first quarter of 2016 from CHF 25.3 million last year, but pointed out that it had managed to preserve profitability despite the contraction of the oil and gas business.
Net forwarding revenue, at CHF 1.3 billion was down from CHF 1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2015.
It said that in a continuously soft market, transport volumes grew in Air Freight but decreased in Ocean Freight. Logistics reported the fifth positive consecutive quarter on EBIT level.
“In the first three months of the year, we succeeded in counterbalancing the lower transport volumes in oil and gas. This was due to the positive development in the rest of the business as well as the fast adjustment of our cost base,” said CEO Peter Ulber.
“The results reflect our changing business mix. While the contraction in oil and gas continued, we saw growth in all the other industries that we serve.”
Ulber warned that the tough comparison due to the decline in the oil and gas business will remain for the second quarter of the year, “but we have shown that we can continue to be profitable and ride out the storm.
“Regardless of the current market situation, servicing our oil and gas customers remains a core offering of Panalpina, and with our in-house transport engineering department and projects expertise we can provide unique solutions for the sector. At the same time, we will continue to balance our business and product mix throughout the year.”