SWITZERLAND : Kuehne+Nagel’s (K+N) air logistics division has recorded robust results for the second quarter of 2022 despite the recent market slowdown.
The air division’s second-quarter net turnover was SFr3.2bn, up 37% from the same period of 2021, earnings before interest and tax (ebit) was SFr401m, 65% up year on year and air volumes improved by 2.7% to 570,000 tonnes.
K+N said the air logistics division was impacted by a high operational workload as the closure of Russian airspace and the lockdown in Shanghai resulted in the immediate rescheduling and diversion of many routes.
Profits and revenues both increased as airfreight rates remained high compared with last year due to ongoing supply chain congestion and higher fuel prices.
The company also benefited from its acquisition of Apex logistics, which began to be included in the forwarder’s results from May last year.
The acquisition’s positive impact on ebit over the first half amounted to SFr174m, K+N said.
Meanwhile, recent IATA figures show May was the third month in a row that overall airfreight demand has declined from a year earlier, although the trade association said demand has been hampered by Covid restrictions in Asia, China in particular – where it’s uncertain whether further limiting restrictions will be put in place.
Detlef Trefzger, Chief Executive of K+N, said: “The uncertainties and obstacles in global supply chains continued in 2022. The Covid-related lockdowns in China, the invasion of Ukraine, the exceptionally strong increase in energy prices and high inflation resulted in an even more challenging business environment.”
Joerg Wolle, Chairman of the Board of Directors of K&N said: “Geopolitical and macroeconomic turmoil is challenging the global economy and especially the logistics industry.
“Even in this challenging environment, Kuehne+Nagel delivers what it promises: a strategically excellently positioned group that impresses with innovative customer solutions based on a global, highly adaptive network.
“As such, we expect demand for high-quality services to remain solid in the second half of 2022.”
Whether K&N will achieve similarly robust results in the third quarter remains to be seen.
The industry is also now contending with a month-on-month drop in rates, with the price of jet fuel and inflation amongst the issues set to potentially influence this further in the coming months.
Airfreight volumes were 1.1m tonnes in the first six months of 2022. The air unit’s net turnover reached SFr6.3bn and ebit was SFr826m.
The overall company saw second-quarter net turnover increase by 45% year on year to SFr10.5bn, ebit was up 78% to SFr1.1bn and earnings reached SFr796m, up 79% on a year earlier.