Provisions for the EU and Swiss antitrust fines of CHF 59 million resulted in a loss of CHF 40 million for the Panalpina Group in the first quarter of 2012. Panalpina has decided to appeal the European Commission’s decision to the European General Court, the Group press release said.
The Group reported a gross profit decrease of 3% (+1% currency adjusted) compared to the first quarter of 2011. Gross profit margin increased to 23.6%. Volumes in Ocean Freight reached a record high and continued to outperform the market (+7% year-on-year). Volumes in Air Freight were affected by a negative market and the profitability restoration program (-8% year-on-year).
“While we did very well in Ocean Freight, gaining market share, we knew that the first quarter would be a difficult one for Air Freight, especially in comparison to last year’s exceptional first quarter. In anticipation of the difficult market environment and a challenging 2012 we already reacted last year and introduced cost containment measures. This led to a flat development of the operating expenses quarter-on-quarter“, said CEO Monika Ribar. The Group has decided to appeal the European Commission’s decision on the antitrust fine. “We believe the amount is not justified, which is why we are going to appeal the decision to the European General Court”, said Ribar.
Provisions resulted in loss of CHF 40 million
On March 28, 2012, Panalpina, along with its major competitors, was reportedly fined by the EU Commission for antitrust violations related to isolated air freight surcharges for certain European trade lanes during limited periods of time prior to 2008. Provisions of CHF 59 million for the EU and the Swiss antitrust fines together resulted in a group loss of CHF 40 million in the first quarter. Net forwarding revenue in the first quarter was down by 7% to CHF 1,540 million (-3% currency adjusted). Gross profit amounted to CHF 364 million, a decrease of 3%. Currency adjusted, gross profit was up by 1% despite a negative air freight market. Gross profit margin increased to 23.6% (22.6% in Q1 2011).
The Panalpina Group is one of the world's leading providers of supply chain solutions, combining intercontinental Air and Ocean Freight with comprehensive Value-Added Logistics Services and Supply Chain Services. The Panalpina Group operates a global network with some 500 branches in more than 80 countries. In a further 80 countries, it cooperates closely with partner companies. Panalpina employs approximately 15,000 people worldwide.