Trade collapse slams Panalpina net profit

Firm claims cost-cutting programme is on track.
Panalpina's Monika Ribar believes that the firm will hit its cost-cutting target this year.
Panalpina's Monika Ribar believes that the firm will hit its cost-cutting target this year.

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First-quarter net profit has dropped by 94% at Swiss forwarder Panalpina as a result of the plummeting global trade figures.

With a 28% drop in airfreight tonnage and a 23% drop in ocean TEUs, the company also suffered as a number of its biggest clients lost out through above-average order and production cut-backs, particularly in the automotive and hi-tech sectors.

Gross profit dropped by 11.4%, although Panalpina’s aggressive cost-cutting measures, which saw the firm cut 1000 workers, mean that the firm is likely to reach its target of slicing operating costs in 2009 by US$114 million, Panalpina said.  The first-quarter operating result was also negatively affected by costs related to the furloughs. 

“The massive recession-related global volume decline seen since the end of 2008 has impacted Panalpina on all major trade lanes and had negative effects on the results in the first quarter", said Panalpina president and CEO Monika Ribar.

“However, with the cost-cutting programme on track and an excellent cash flow performance, Panalpina is well equipped to tackle the challenges in an ongoing difficult business climate", she added.
 

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