Panalpina Profit Misses Estimates as Asia Trade Volumes Slow

Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG (PWTN), the world’s fourth-largest freight forwarder, said second- quarter profit fell 37 percent, dropping more than analysts estimated, as trade between Europe and Asia slowed.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization declined to 33.6 million Swiss francs ($34.4 million) from 53.7 million francs a year earlier, the Basel, Switzerland based company said today in a statement. Profit was less than the 32.8 million-franc average of nine analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue gained 2.4 percent to 1.67 billion francs.

“We anticipate a soft recovery of the air-freight market in the second half of 2012 and continued market growth in ocean freight,” Chief Executive Officer Monika Ribar said in the statement. “Further significant rate increases in air and ocean freight seem unlikely.”

Industry leader Kuehne + Nagel International AG (KNIN) scaled back its full-year forecasts for the sea freight, air freight and contract logistics in mid-July. The Schindellegi, Switzerland- based company now expects a 3 percent decline in the air-cargo industry compared with a previous forecast of no change.

The air-freight market will contract by 1 percent this year, while the ocean freight market will grow 3 percent to 4 percent, Panalpina said today.

Global air-freight prices fell to at $3.60 per kilogram in the second quarter, the lowest in at least two years, according to the Drewry Air Freight Price Index, which analyzes average prices along major trade routes.

European air-freight volume fell the most since 2009 in the three months through June, while in Asia it fell for a sixth consecutive quarter, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Panalpina’s second-quarter Ebitda in the Asia-Pacific region fell 35 percent to 15 million francs, while the Europe, the Middle East and Africa division had a loss of 1 million francs versus year-earlier profit of 9 million francs. In North America, a 2 million franc loss was reported versus a 9 million- franc profit a year earlier.

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