First half airfreight profits doubled for Kuehne + Nagel due to strong growth, particularly in the first quarter.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was CHF 826 million, up 103.4% on 2021, when it was CHF 406 million.

The biggest growth came in the first quarter, up 160.7% to CHF 425 million, followed by EBIT of CHF 401 million in the second quarter, up 65%.

Volumes were up 15.8% in the first half to 1.1 million tonnes, with the first quarter growing 32.6% year-on-year to 574,000 tons, followed by growth of 2.7% in the second quarter to 570,000 tons.

Acquisitions had a CHF 174 million affect on results.

The Air Logistics business unit was affected by the closure of Russian airspace and the lockdown in Shanghai, causing routes to be rescheduled and diverted, resulting in a high operational workload in the first half.

Kuehne + Nagel Group posted first half net turnover of CHF 20.6 billion, up 55% on 2021, and EBIT of CHF 2.2 billion, up 112%.

Dr Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel International, says, “The Covid-related lockdowns in China, the invasion of Ukraine, the exceptionally strong increase in energy prices and high inflation resulted in an even more challenging business environment. Based on our digital platforms and industry solutions, as well as the tireless efforts of our employees, we were able to deliver efficient, complex logistics solutions for our customers.”

The outlook for 2022 has challenges due to slower global GDP growth, high inflation, supply chain inefficiencies, and high demand for effective solutions.

Kuehne + Nagel says it will focus on high quality of service, high yields will continue to compensate for high costs, accelerate digitalisation, and it will develop services in Asia.