DSV forecast flat transport volumes in a weak global economy will cap earnings this year as the Danish freight forwarder and logistics group’s 2012 profit fell short of market expectations.
Operating profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization edged up to 3 billion Danish kroner ($530 million) in 2012 from 2.98 billion kroner ($527 million) in 2011 as revenue crept up to 44.9 billion kroner ($7.95 billion) from 43.7 billion kroner ($7.73 billion).
DSV, the world’s sixth-largest freight forwarder with 22,000 employees, had expected cargo volume to grow in 2012.
“But expectations went unfulfilled, and toward the end of 2012 we had to realize that overall freight volumes had declined compared to 2011,” CEO Jens Bjorn Andersen said, adding he does not anticipate any improvement this year.
DSV achieved its target of growing faster than the market in 2012, but its ocean unit fell below those of its rivals. “This was due to our large exposure to the Asia-Europe trade lane, which saw growth rates considerably below the sea freight market in general,” the company explained.
Asian and North European markets posted positive growth figures, but traffic declined in southern Europe, falling by more than 10 percent in some countries.
DSV said it is looking for further acquisitions following the purchases last year of Czech forwarder Cechofracht and a stake in the Swift Group that has operations in Dubai, India, China and 12 African countries.
The company forecast 2013 earnings of 2.55 billion to 2.75 billion kroner ($451 million to $487 million).