Panalpina, the Swiss global transport and logistics group, on Thursday reported net earnings in the first quarter more than doubled from a year ago, driven by surging growth in air and ocean freight volumes across all its regional markets.
The Basel-based company said it experienced "soaring demand" in the quarter.
Net earnings totaled 53.4 million Swiss francs [$43.8 million] in the three months to March 31 from $21 million in the year-earlier period as gross revenues grew 9.2 percent to $1.98 billion from $1.82 billion.
Net forwarding revenues rose only 6.6 per cent to $1.6 billion, slowed by softening freight rates, lower fuel surcharges and the weaker dollar.
Operating profit grew by 94 percent to $60.8 million from $31.4 million.
The strong performance, coming soon after larger Swiss rival Kuehne & Nagel announced profits increased more than 28 percent in the first quarter, underscored the strength of the global air and ocean cargo markets and the growing demand for global logistic and supply chain management.
Air tonnage was up 13 percent against a global market growth of between 3 percent and 4 percent and ocean volume, mainly containers, grew 12.9 percent, outpacing market growth of around 10 percent.
Gross profit for air cargo after deducting customs fees, security surcharges and freight rates, increased 25.3 percent, while ocean was up 6.1 percent and supply management profit 24.2 percent.
Panalpina said it is "very confident" in meeting its targets for 2007 as solid global economic growth fuels demand for worldwide transport and logistics services.