Kuehne+Nagel has strong start to 2021

Schindellegi, Switzerland:  Kuehne+Nagel has started the year on an upbeat note reporting strong demand in transport, especially for pharma and e-commerce. 

Kuehne+Nagel reported first quarter turnover of over CHF 6bn, EBIT of CHF 431m and earnings for the period of CHF 318 million were all significantly higher year-on-year. 

Detlef Trefzger, chief executive, Kuehne + Nagel International said: “Exactly one year ago, when we were still at the beginning of the pandemic, we decided to commit to our proven strategy. Upon reflection, we are assured that we chose the correct path: in the first quarter of 2021, we were well-prepared to serve our customers’ robust demand for high quality logistics services despite the tense market environment. We expect this environment to remain challenging for the remainder of another atypical year.” 

The positive profit trend reversal in Sea Logistics, already seen in the second half of 2020, continued in the first quarter of 2021. 4

 Air Logistics saw a return to trade volume growth in the first quarter of 2021, the first time in more than two years. This was contrasted by limited global freight capacities. Kuehne+Nagel’s expertise in dealing with this bottleneck was particularly crucial for pharma transport.   Airfreight volumes reached 433,000 tonnes in the first quarter of 2021 (16% year-on-year). 

In Road Logistics, the first quarter of 2021 saw significant increase in consignment numbers and a return of European national transport capacities to prior year levels. After a weak start, UK transport demand recorded a noticeable recovery throughout the remainder of the quarter. 

The unit’s net turnover of CHF 870m in the first quarter of 2021 was at the previous year’s level; however, EBIT of CHF 24m improved by 41.2% year-on-year.

In the first quarter of 2021, Contract Logistics returned to organic growth of 4%, in line with the market. As a result of the divestment of part of the UK business as of January 1, 2021, turnover declined in the first quarter of 2021. The unit’s net turnover of over CHF 1.1bn was 9.3% below the previous year; EBIT, however, increased by 123.5% to CHF 38m. 

The pharma business and e-commerce fulfilment activities again had a positive impact. In March, the business unit entered into a strategic partnership with Jointown, the largest non-state pharmaceutical distributor in China.


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