Kuehne + Nagel enjoyed improved fortunes in the first quarter of this year compared with a tough 2013, which saw both its European and UK businesses make cuts.

In the UK last year, deliveries made by its drinks logistics division were affected by a 24-hour strike in September over plans to open four ‘super hubs’ (something it still intends to pursue, despite a lengthy dispute with union Unite).

K+N group’s road and rail logistics business suffered a 85% drop in EBITDA at the beginning of the 2013 too, as it struggled with the tough economic climate in Europe and poor weather conditions affecting deliveries.

Better times ahead?

But, after reporting an EBITDA of just CHF 2m (£1.3m) in Q1 2013 in its overland transport division (formerly reported as road and rail logistics), things are now looking more positive.

EBITDA grew to CHF 12m (£8.1m) in the quarter to 31 March 2014, which K+N said was due to strict implementation of its profit improvement strategy, Road 2 Profit. It has also gained more work through its European groupage business.

Although it suffered a dip in European turnover to CHF 3.05bn (£2.06bn) (Q1 2013: CHF 3.1bn), EBITDA for all of its European activities grew from CHF 127m (£86m) to CHF 138m (£93.4m).

Unsurprisingly, CEO Dr. Detlef Trefzger, maintained that the company’s focus would not change this year.

“The cost measures introduced one year ago and active margin management have been effective. Our strategy remains unchanged: we will continue to focus on profitable growth,” he said.