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Supply Chain

Kuehne+Nagel's Annual Operating Profit Nearly Halves

By Reuters
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Kuehne+Nagel's Annual Operating Profit Nearly Halves

Swiss logistics group Kuehne+Nagel reported a bigger-than-expected 49% drop in annual operating profit, citing weaker performance across nearly all its segments in a challenging environment.

Its earnings before interest and taxes fell to CHF 1.90 billion (€1.98 billion) last year, from CHF 3.76 billion (€3.91 billion). That missed analysts' forecast of CHF 2.01 billion (€2.09 billion), a company-provided poll showed.

Sea Logistics Slump

Kuehne+Nagel, one of the biggest ocean and air freight forwarders worldwide, said its sea logistics business recorded a 55% drop in operating earnings in the fourth quarter, while its air logistics unit saw a 52% slump.

The ocean shipping industry is bracing for months of upheaval, as disruption caused by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea lifts costs on ocean freight shipping across the globe, while attempts to reroute shipments may cause a shortage of vessel space and send short-term transport prices sharply higher.

The company, which is present in more than 100 countries, reported one-off redundancy costs of CHF 53 million (€55.12 million) for the final quarter of the year.

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It proposed a dividend of CHF 10 (€10.40) per share for the 2023 financial year, down from CHF 14 (€14.56) a year earlier.

'Persistently Challenging'

"Kuehne+Nagel closed the financial year 2023 with an overall good performance in a persistently challenging environment," commented Stefan Paul, chief executive. "We adjusted our cost base to market conditions by intensifying restructuring measures in the fourth quarter.

"At the same time, we succeeded in gaining market share in Sea Logistics, especially in the SME segment. We signed two important acquisitions with Morgan Cargo from South Africa and Farrow from Canada. We are making solid progress toward our Roadmap 2026 goals."

Kuehne+Nagel did not provide an outlook for 2024.

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