Acquisition of Quick International Courier
Significant global expansion in the high growth segments aviation and pharma & healthcare logistics
Enhancing global customer solutions portfolio
Kuehne + Nagel announces the acquisition of Quick International Courier, a market leading provider of time-critical transportation and logistics solutions globally. Quick is an industry specialist in providing tailor-made solutions to the aviation and pharma & healthcare industries, generating above USD 200 million annual net revenue. Quick consists of Sterling Aviation, QuickSTAT, Quick Healthcare and Quick Logistics who will continue to operate as independent product brands.
“Kuehne + Nagel’s M&A strategy is focused on expanding our footprint, creating synergies and acquiring know how. The acquisition of Quick is another accelerator to drive network growth and to enhance our global customer solutions portfolio”, says Dr. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne + Nagel International AG.
“This acquisition is an important milestone in the implementation of our solutions strategy and a confirmation of our leading position in airfreight. With its unique expertise in time-critical shipments in the fields of aviation and pharma & healthcare ? both key strategic focus and investment areas for Kuehne + Nagel ? the company perfectly complements our existing global portfolio. Our customers will benefit from a much greater scope of services and capability for time-critical shipments, while Quick’s customers will get access to Kuehne + Nagel’s global network across more than 100 countries”, says Yngve Ruud, Member of the Managing Board of Kuehne + Nagel, responsible for airfreight.
Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Jamaica, NY, Quick has about 550 employees specialised in “Next Flight Out” and “Next Drive Out” shipments among others. These shipments are usually urgent in nature and often global, complex and logistics intense with a high cost of failure while operated with strictly defined protocols and control points from order to delivery. Quick deploys different key regional support centres and control towers all over the world.
“We are looking forward to become part of the Kuehne + Nagel Group. Joining forces with one of the leading logistics providers offers us new growth perspectives within a worldwide operating network”, says Dominique Bischoff-Brown, CEO of Quick International Courier.
Both parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and to clearance by the competent merger control authorities.
In the third quarter of 2018, A.P. Moller - Maersk progresses in the strategic business transformation, reporting growth in both Ocean and non-Ocean with a total revenue increase of 31% to USD 10.1bn, 12% excluding Hamburg Süd. Growth in non-Ocean was at 15%, which now contributes 31% of total revenue. In addition, synergy effects where materialized.
"Well into our transformation, we are progressing with the integration of our business to better serve customers and unlock the full growth potential within Logistics & Services. As a result, I am pleased to see revenue growth in Q3 across the business, including supply chain services. Our profitability and cash flow is improving, positively impacted by the emergency bunker surcharge announced due to the significant increase in bunker price, synergies from Hamburg Süd and strong collaboration between Ocean and our terminal activities," says Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller - Maersk.
Compared to Q3 2017, revenue in Logistics & Services increased 7.5 % with supply chain management growing 16%. New products are being developed to improve the customer experience, with results already seen where A.P. Moller - Maersk was first in the world to launch Instant Booking Confirmation to customers in the container industry.
Furthermore, gateway terminals continued to grow volumes from external customers as well as from Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd reflecting synergy impact from the closer collaboration. Total synergies with Hamburg Süd of minimum USD 500m excluding integration cost are expected by 2019 as the integration is progressing faster than planned.
Cash conversion improved from 76% to 95%. The free cash flow of USD 2.1bn compared to negative USD 478m in the same period last year lead to a lower net debt.
Volumes in Ocean grew 27%, 5% excluding Hamburg Süd which is above the estimated market growth of 2.7%, but lower than anticipated. Søren Skou elaborates:
"Our business performance in Ocean is still challenged by increased bunker prices not being fully compensated through higher freight rates. However, we continue to see improved results in the third quarter after a very weak start to 2018."
The underlying profit in Q3 amounted to USD 251m compared to USD 254m in the same period last year. Earnings before interests, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 16% despite bunker price increasing 47%.
Unit costs at fixed bunker in Ocean decreased 0.6% compared to Q3 2017, when adjusted for foreign exchange rate and inclusion of Hamburg Süd.
Guidance for 2018
A.P. Moller - Maersk expects an EBITDA in the range of USD 3.6-4.0bn from previously USD 3.5-4.2bn and reiterates the expectations of a positive underlying profit.
The organic volume growth in Ocean is now expected in line with the estimated average market growth of 3-4% for 2018 (previously slightly below the estimated average market growth of 2-4%).
Guidance is maintained on gross capital expenditures (capex) around USD 3bn and a high cash conversion (cash flow from operations compared with EBITDA). For 2019 we now expect gross capital expenditure of USD 2-2.5bn.
The guidance continues to be subject to uncertainties due to the current risk of further restrictions on global trade and other factors impacting container freight rates, bunker prices and rate of exchange.