Automotive logistics specialist GEFCO has reported a 25.8% year-on-year increase in EBITDA for the first half of the year, following a recovery in the European car market and a round of cost-saving initiatives.

The firm, 75% owned by Russian Railways and 25% by French carmaker PSA Citroen, saw revenue for the period increase marginally – it grew 1.9% to reach €2.262bn, while EBITDA clocked in at €114.8m, compared with the €91.3m posted in the first six months of 2016.

The interim results follow a similar pattern to 2016’s annual results, when a 1.3% revenue increase was accompanied by a 32% growth in EBITDA at €172.8m.

The company said its performance in the first half of 2017 “was driven by the recovering European car market, a strengthened European economy and the continuing focus to expand its customer portfolio across global accounts”.

Chairman Luc Nadal said: “At mid-year, GEFCO confirms the positive trend of its operational and financial performance already shown in 2016, with a growth in EBITDA of 25.8 %. Moreover, the growth of revenues of 1.9% demonstrates the strength of our relationships with our historical customers and the continuing strong commercial performance in our broader customer base where we have achieved a 6% increase.”

The group said the EBITDA growth was driven by the cost-saving programme that began last year.

“With very little debt, GEFCO is in a sound financial situation,” it said.

This year it has extended contracts with Volkswagen in Argentina for its Rosario and Buenos Aires plants; with online second-hand car business Auto 1 in Central Europe; and with BMW in the UK, where it provides a “range of driven vehicle and compound management services for new cars and motorcycles, together with a de-fleet solution for end of first life vehicles”.

While the automotive sector remains its key vertical, it has also extended its business, signing an extended collaboration this year with French clothing retailer Kiabi for its outlets in Normandy and South-west France; and with a UK-based lubricant supplier shipping to Russia and the CIS via a multimodal logistics solution.

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