UPDATE 2-Kuehne & Nagel aims for better after profit drop

* Says gained market share during crisis

* 2009 net profit falls 20.2 pct to 467 mln Swiss francs

* Forecast was for 506 million francs

* Makes 35 million francs provision for competition case

(Adds analyst comment, background, updated shares)

By Catherine Bosley

ZURICH, March 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Swiss logistics group Kuehne &
Nagel(KNIN.VX: ) bet on its growing market share and recovering
world freight volumes to post double-digit growth this year.

Kuehne said on Monday profit last year dropped by 20
percent, worse than expected, hit by a slump in global trade,
the strength of the Swiss franc and provisions for legal costs
in a U.S. competition case.

But it was well positioned for an economic upswing and
expected volumes in air and sea freight to rise 5-6 percent.

“Our aim is profitable growth above market average in all
business units,” chief executive Reinhard Lange said.

“If one disregards the exceptional charge, the numbers, the
proposed dividend, the increased market share and the (somewhat
vague) outlook look solid,” bank Wegelin said in a note.

Shares in Kuehne, which competes with Panalpina (PWTN.S: ) and
Deutsche Bahn’s Schenker [DBN.UL], were 0.3 percent higher by
1316 GMT at 97.70 francs a share, compared with a 0.7 percent
rise in the Swiss mid-cap index.(.SSMI: )

Apart from an investigation by U.S authorities, Kuehne,
along with some of its rivals, has also been charged by the
European Commission with illegally fixing prices for air freight
forwarding. [ID:nLDE6192OS]

“We see it as very positive that the U.S. anti-trust problem
is likely to be solved with a 35 million franc settlement,” bank
Berenberg said. “The European part is still missing and the
magnitude remains unclear.”

Kuehne’s net profit for 2009 was 467 million francs.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the group to post net
profit of 506 million. [ID:nLDE61N1L6]

The group trades at around 17 times forecast 2011 earnings,
a premium to Panalpina at 14 times.
($1 = 1.077 Swiss francs)

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(Editing by David Cowell)

UPDATE 2-Kuehne & Nagel aims for better after profit drop