2017 was a successful year for the Kuehne + Nagel Group, new market shares were gained across all business units. The continued strong performance cannot be taken for granted in a demanding and rapidly changing market environment. The strong increase in volume achieved in 2017 in combination with high levels of operational efficiency led to improved results. Group EBIT increased by 2.1 per cent to CHF 937 million compared with the previous year and earnings for the year by 2.8 per cent to CHF 740 million. The results confirm the strategic decision to adopt an integrated business model. Difficult market conditions in one business unit can be compensated by increased profitability in the other divisions.
For more than 125 years, Kuehne + Nagel has been building up tight logistics networks, from which the company and its customers are now benefitting more than ever. The Group differentiates itself by agility and competence in global market penetration. Its customer proximity allows continuously expanding and optimising the service portfolio to meet current and future requirements.
We expect the rate of change in the markets and industries to further increase. New technologies and algorithms will disrupt traditional market mechanisms and generate new business models and new competitors. Digitalisation is the key driver behind a far-reaching transformation in the entire global economy. Kuehne + Nagel will considerably contribute in shaping this transformation. In addition to its proven and effective IT solutions and initiatives in the fields of big data and predictive analytics, the decision in early 2018 to form a joint venture together with Temasek, the Singapore state-owned investment company, in order to invest in technology start-ups, is yet another important step towards this goal. Kuehne + Nagel is using innovative technologies to extend its activities across its customers’ supply chains and to support the design of more efficient processes. By finding smart ways to combine its comprehensive logistics competence with continuity and innovation, the company will realise its full potential, eliminate weak spots and gain market share.
But besides its digital competence, the company needs highly qualified employees to manage goods flows and address potential interface problems. Kuehne + Nagel is firmly anchored in over 100 countries at more than 1,300 locations with approximately 76,000 employees. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of them for their outstanding contribution to the company’s success.
The Board of Directors shares the confidence of the Group’s management team that the implementation of the new and ambitious strategic programme will provide important impulses for a successful further development of the Kuehne + Nagel Group. The focus remains on organic growth, at the same time, Kuehne + Nagel is also considering acquisitions to strengthen its market position in selected regions and growth segments.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear shareholders, the good performance in 2017 demonstrates that your investment in the company is paying off. Thank you for your confidence in Kuehne + Nagel. We hope that you will stay with us on our journey!
Dr. Jörg Wolle
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Dr. Renato Fassbind
Dr. Thomas Staehelin
Dr. Martin C. Wittig