DR. JOERG WOLLE, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Kuehne+Nagel, one of the world’s leading logistics providers, has once again achieved record results in 2019. With the current state of the global economy, that’s anything but a given. The estimated growth in the global economy last year was just 2.4% due to persistently low trading and investment activities – the lowest rate of expansion since the financial crisis over ten years ago. Geopolitical tensions and disagreements over trade policy dampened international investment and caused a certain amount of uncertainty. Global trade increased by just 1.0% in 2019, compared with 3.7% in the previous year.
Kuehne+Nagel’s net turnover was up 1.5% in the 2019 business year, putting it well above market growth. The Company also delivered on the earnings side, with EBIT up by a very respectable 7.5%. In fact, EBIT was above the billion mark for the first time in the Company’s history. Thanks to Kuehne+Nagel’s focus on customer service and cost efficiency, on the constant improvement of its operational systems and their further digitalisation, the Company managed to increase its market share again across all business units. Overall, Kuehne+Nagel once again achieved its strategic goal of growing twice as fast as the market in its transportation networks.
All four business units contributed to Kuehne+Nagel’s success in 2019. Overland and in particular Seafreight showed considerable growth in a stagnating market environment. Results remained largely stable in the more volatile Airfreight business. The takeover of Quick International Courier, a specialist in time-critical shipping in the pharma and aviation sector, has had a positive long-term impact there. In Contract Logistics, the restructuring of the customer portfolio and associated real estate has begun to pay off with a considerable improvement in results.
After concentrating mainly on Europe and the US in recent years in terms of organisational measures and acquisitions, Kuehne+Nagel is now systematically and quite deliberately expanding its position in the Asia-Pacific region. The Company has already built up a very strong position there. Kuehne+Nagel is firmly convinced that Asia will be the central driver of global economic development in the years to come. With the merger of our two Asian organisations, the Company has created the perfect launchpad for further expansion in the region, both organically and through acquisitions.
In 2020, the Kuehne+Nagel Group celebrates 130 years since it was established. Over the course of many years, the Company has been turned into an outstanding, truly global logistics provider by the efforts of many people and great entrepreneurs. The Company has very good prospects for continuing its success story – in Asia and all over the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear shareholders, many of you have been invested in our Company for a long time, while others have joined us more recently. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank you for your continued trust in Kuehne+Nagel.
Dr. Joerg Wolle
Chairman of the Board of Directors