Damco, the logistics and forwarding unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk, posted a 29 percent increase in profit last year as revenue and margins rose.
The company’s earnings before interest and tax rose to $97 million from $75 million. Revenue rose to $2.8 billion from $2.7 billion, despite lower freight rates. Productivity improvements boosted the company’s EBIT return on sales to 3.5 percent from 2.8 percent.
“We are pleased to have delivered such strong results, despite the softening market in the second half of the year,” said CEO Rolf Habben-Jansen.
The improvement was led by growth in South and Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. Results were lower in Europe and North America, where the traditional third quarter peak seasons failed to materialize.
“More than 60 percent of our employees are in growth markets and the strength of our business in places like China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Africa allows us to challenge and win against even our largest competitors, which puts us in a good position when growth in Europe and the US slows”, Habben-Jansen said.
Airfreight tonnage rose 47 percent, driven by the acquisition of Chinese forwarder NTS in August. For operations in place both years, airfreight volume growth was about 5 percent above the overall market, Damco said.
Damco’s ocean volume grew 15 percent, some 9 to 10 percent ahead of the general market, the company said. Supply chain management volumes declined 3 percent, mainly due to reduced imports for Damco’s large U.S. retail customers.
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