Panalpina, the Swiss global forwarding and logistics group, reported third quarter profit jumped 13 percent from a year ago driven by strong growth in ocean and air freight traffic.
Gross profit rose to $389.6 million in the three months to the end of September from $344.8 million in the same period in 2009 and net revenue grew to $1.9 billion from $1.44 billion.
The Basel-based company earned $60.2 million before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization against $22.4 million a year ago.
By The Numbers: Air Freight Price Index.
Gross profit in the first nine months grew slightly to $1.1 billion from $1.08 billion but net earnings declined to $6.12 million from $74.5 million.
"We are continuing to outgrow the market with above average volume growth in both air and ocean freight," said Chief Executive Officer Monika Ribar.
Panalpina boosted air freight volume 27 percent and ocean container shipments 16 percent in the first nine months of the year, outpacing average market growth of 24-25 percent and 12-13 percent, respectively.
The market began to slow in the third quarter due to less restocking, a higher comparison base from the first half and a shorter-than-usual peak season in ocean freight.
Volume growth likely will slow in the fourth quarter and the peak season is not "shaping up as it has in the past," Ribar said.
"The peak season for air freight will only be moderate and in ocean freight, the peak season is already over with restocking having taken place early as businesses attempted to avoid shortages and anticipated peak season rates."
Based on strong year-to-date volume growth Panalpina reiterated its forecast of at least 15 percent growth in air freight and 10 percent in ocean freight in 2010.
Panalpina said it expects to reach settlement on an investigation by U.S. authorities into alleged bribery by the end of the year.
The Department of Justice is expected to fine Panalpina around $85 million following a three year probe into allegations it paid bribes to officials in several countries, including Nigeria, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan to expedite customs clearance and obtain permits.
An announcement could be made Nov. 4, according to reports.
-- Contact Bruce Barnard at email@example.com.