Freight forwarder Kuehne+Nagel's annual operating profit nearly halves

Credit: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Adds division results, CEO comment, dividend and context from paragraph 2

March 1 (Reuters) - Swiss logistics group Kuehne und Nagel KNIN.S reported a bigger-than-expected 49% drop in annual operating profit on Friday, citing weaker performance across nearly all its segments in a challenging environment.

Its earnings before interest and taxes fell to 1.90 billion Swiss francs ($2.15 billion) last year, from 3.76 billion in 2022. That missed analysts' forecast of 2.01 billion, a company-provided poll showed.

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.

"We adjusted our cost base to market conditions by intensifying restructuring measures in the fourth quarter," CEO Stefan Paul said in a statement.

The company, which is present in more than 100 countries, reported one-off redundancy costs of 53 million Swiss francs for the final quarter of the year.

It proposed a dividend of 10 francs per share for the 2023 financial year, down from 14 francs a year earlier.

Kuehne+Nagel did not provide an outlook for 2024.

($1 = 0.8847 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Anastasiia Kozlova and Amir Orusov in Gdansk; editing by Milla Nissi)


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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