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(Bloomberg) -- Kuehne & Nagel International AG raised its dividend after the world’s biggest sea-freight forwarder returned its overland shipping activities to profit.

Kuehne will propose a regular dividend of 4 Swiss francs a share plus a special payout of 3 francs, the company said in a statement today. That compares with a total payout of 5.85 francs the previous year. Earnings before interest and taxes increased 7.6 percent to 819 million francs ($862 million), the Schindellegi, Switzerland-based company said, just below the average estimate of 824.7 million francs in a survey of analysts.

Europe’s economic activity has lagged behind other regions in the aftermath of the longest recession since the euro was introduced, weighing on shipping and transport companies. Kuehne was able to outgrow competitors in its main markets for air and sea freight, while turning around the overland business following a two-year rationalization program.

“We were able to simultaneously expand our market share and increase results,” Chief Executive Officer Detlef Trefzger said in the statement. “The turnaround in the overland business unit made an essential contribution.”

Sales rose 1.7 percent to 21.3 billion francs, while net income gained 6.1 percent to 644 million francs. Sea-freight volumes rose 7 percent last year, while air-freight volumes advanced 5.3 percent, both outpacing the wider market.

Danish trucking company DSV A/S on Feb. 6 said it expects the global markets for air and sea freight to expand by between 3 percent and 5 percent each this year, with the company seeking market share gains in both.

While 2015 will continue to be “challenging,” the company again aims for a “positive development” in all units, Chairman Karl Gernandt said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Weiss in Frankfurt at rweiss5@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net Thomas Mulier, Tom Lavell

Bloomberg