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Kühne & Nagel sees profits fall in downturn

Kühne & Nagel, one of the world's largest logistics companies, has posted a 20 per cent drop in net profit for 2009 following a global slump in the industry.

With sales down by 19.4 per cent to SFr17.4 billion ($16.03 billion), net profit for the year was SFr467 million, according to results posted by the canton Schwyz-based group on Monday.

The group said the logistics industry had suffered “unprecedented” declines in turnover and volume in the first half of 2009, both in international and national freight forwarding and in contract logistics, but demand started to recover in the second half of the year.

The biggest turnover decreases were in the Americas, the Asia-Pacific region and in Europe. Operations in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa experienced the least impact, turnover decreasing by 6.1 per cent.

Kühne & Nagel has also made provisions of SFr35 million to cover all potential costs in relation to investigations by competition authorities.

The group nevertheless described the annual results as solid, and said it was “well positioned” for the expected global economic upswing.

Kühne & Nagel employs around 55,000 people in 900 locations in over 100 countries. Last March the group announced up to 4,500 job cuts as part of cost-cutting exercises. and agencies

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