Announcing that profits were up by more than 40% last year, DSV said today its integration with UTi was going well.

The group’s results show 2016 gross profit up 41% year on year, at Dkr15.8bn ($2.26bn).

However, it saw weaker-than-expected growth in Air & Sea and Road, according to analyst Jefferies.

Operating profit for Air & Sea rose 11% to Dkr2.1bn, while Road grew 14% to Dkr1bn. Solutions, its warehousing arm, saw greater growth, albeit from a lower point, up 58% to Dkr384m.

The company also reported that the UTi integration was on track while the IT migration was completed in Air & Sea.

Jeffries said: “The Dkr1.5bn cost synergy target is confirmed, as well as the timing of the cost savings, with Dkr600m expected this year and Dkr400m next year.

“Remaining restructuring costs of Dkr500m are expected to be taken this year. Beyond FY18E, DSV confirms it sees further opportunities to improve productivity.”

It seems likely that DSV will be back on the acquisition trail following the integration of blue-chip specialist UTi.

It noted in its full results: “For a number of years, the freight forwarding industry has been characterised by consolidation among the large players. Over the years, DSV has been one of the most active consolidators, with several large and small acquisitions.

“We expect the trend to continue in the coming years and lead to further consolidation in the industry. We want to continue to take part in the consolidation of the industry if and when attractive and value-adding opportunities arise.

“Growth through acquisitions is a fundamental element of our corporate strategy.”

DSV saw 85% growth in air freight volumes and 53% growth in sea freight through the UTi acquisition, but the company noted: “We are unable to decisively conclude if Air & Sea has grown organically and gained market share in 2016.”

Gross profit per teu/ tonne fell for both modes, down 6.8% in sea freight and 3% in air freight.

Road freight volumes rose 5%, but gross profit was “negatively impacted by competitive pricing and change in business mix, with an increasing share of domestic distribution with lower average income per consignment”. One observer noted that DSV had tended to cut costs in road freight top boost profitability, rather than growing.

DSV said it hoped to see better cross-selling between divisions this year, “especially after the merger with UTi where the new footprint in North America and South Africa provides a strong base for future growth”.

CEO Jens Bjørn Andersen said: “While maintaining momentum in our integration efforts in 2016, we kept focus on running the business, leading to very satisfactory results in all divisions. We expect to complete the integration of UTi and continue to take market share in 2017, creating earnings growth of 21-29%.”

The Loadstar will publish a full analysis of DSV’s financials next week.


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