Adds analyst comments, context
Oct 20 (Reuters) - Swiss freight-forwarding group Kuehne und Nagel International KNIN.S reported on Tuesday a better-than-expected rise of 31% in third-quarter core earnings, citing strict cost management and improving market environment.
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) came in at 371 million Swiss francs ($408 million), above the 283 million francs a year earlier, as sea freight, the largest part of the group's business, rose 12% due to a recovery of demand from small- to mid-size enterprise customers and the increase in imports to Europe and North America from Asia.
"With our motivated team, we are ready for further growth together with our customers, especially in the pharma & healthcare and e-commerce sectors," Chief Executive Detlef Trefzger said.
Bernstein analysts said the third-quarter EBIT was above expectations, and the company is performing well during the coronavirus crisis, especially in the core forwarding business as tight transport capacity helps to earn money.
Kuehne und Nagel's results follow positive developments among peers, as Deutsche Post AG DPWGn.DE raised its outlook for full-year operating profit, and FedEx Corp FDX.N beat first-quarter expectations, both companies citing a strong rise in shipments during the coronavirus pandemic.
($1=0.9097 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Louise Heavens)
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