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Kuehne & Nagel Quarterly Profit Grows on Higher Freight Volumes

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Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Kuehne & Nagel International AG, the world’s biggest sea-freight forwarder, said third-quarter profit rose 2.8 percent as sea and air freight volumes increased.

Earnings before interest and taxes climbed to 181 million Swiss francs ($193 million) from 176 million francs a year earlier, the Schindellegi, Switzerland-based company said in an e-mailed statement. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 186 million francs.

Sea freight rates between Hong Kong and Los Angeles have increased 82 percent from the third quarter of 2011, according to research from Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd. Kuehne & Nagel cut its sea freight growth forecast to between 6 percent and 8 percent on Sept. 19, from an earlier target of 8 percent.

Kuehne & Nagel is “confident of reaching the profitability targets we have set ourselves for the full business year 2012,” Chief Executive Officer Reinhard Lange said in the statement.

Sales increased 12 percent to 5.4 billion francs.

Competitor Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG said Oct. 12 third quarter profit would miss analyst estimates, citing higher costs and air freight volumes that were 8 percent lower than the previous year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Webb in Frankfurt at awebb25@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net