Kuehne + Nagel today reported a full-year 5% growth in ebitda to Sfr1.9bn ($2.06bn) for 2020, despite seeing revenues decline by 3.4% to Sfr20.4bn after earnings were hammered in the first half.

The star performer in the group was its air freight forwarding arm, which despite a volume decline of 12.8% for the 12 months to 1.4m tonnes, saw full-year revenues grow 11.6% to Sfr5.2b and ebit by 53.5% to Sfr505m on the back of sky-high freight rates.

It also revealed that fourth-quarter air freight volumes declined 7.5% year on year to 392,000 tonnes.

Sea freight full-year volumes were 4.5m teu, but disappointingly turnover was down 4.9% to Sfr7.1bn, while division ebit fell 7.2% to Sfr423m. However, it did say conditions had improved from the mid point of last year.

“Particularly in the fourth quarter, the improvement was due to the renewed increase in demand from customers in the SME sector as well as the increase in imports from Asia to Europe and North America – an extension of trends which first emerged in the third quarter,” it explained.

The road freight division saw full-year revenues decline 10.2% to Sfr3.2bn and ebit drop by 20.5% to Sfr62m, but again noted that recent trading was on the up.

“In particular, demand for domestic transport in Europe reached pre-crisis levels. In North America, demand for all product segments, with the exception of pharma & healthcare as well as e-commerce, remained significantly behind the previous year. However, a further market recovery was noticeable in the last quarter,” it said.

And its contract logistics operations saw revenues decline 9.7% to Sfr4.8bn, while ebit plummeted 60% to Sfr80m, although this partly due to a one-off Sfr42m “negative” following the sale of its UK contract logistics operations to XPO Logistics.

A detailed analysis of Kuehne + Nagel’s full-year results will be published on Loadstar Premium tomorrow.

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