UPDATE 2-Kuehne & Nagel ups volume targets, H1 in line

* H1 net profit 281 mln Sfr vs 282 mln Sfr in poll

* FY sea freight volume target raised to 15 pct

* Sees margin pressure easing later this year

* Shares fall 2.2 pct in early trade

(Recasts, adds CFO comments)

By Catherine Bosley

ZURICH, July 19 (BestGrowthStock) – Kuehne & Nagel (KNIN.VX: ) raised
its targets for 2010 sea and air freight volume growth and said
shortages in shipping capacity that were pressuring margins
would likely ease by the end of the year.

The Swiss-listed logistics group, which competes with
Panalpina (PWTN.S: ), on Monday posted half-year net earnings of
281 million Swiss francs ($268.9 million), in line with
analysts’ expectations. [ID:nLDE66F0E1]

Chief Financial Officer Gerard van Kesteren told Reuters he
was raising the full-year target for sea freight volume growth
to 15 percent from 12 percent on the back of accelerating
demand. He also increased the target for air freight to 23
percent. [ID:nLDE63F0PF]

“We are optimistic about the further development of our
business,” the group said in a statement.

Kuehne said sea freight volumes, which constitute about 60
percent of profits, had grown some 20 percent in the first six
months of 2010 and that it had achieved its goal of
outperforming the market.

“We are expecting as from Q4 a realisation of normalised
margins for Kuehne & Nagel,” van Kesteren said in a telephone
interview, as a result of more ship capacity coming on line and
the pre-Christmas surge in trade having subsided.

Danish group A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO: ) this month also
upgraded its earnings guidance for the full year, saying its
container shipping business had rebounded faster than expected.
[ID:nLDE66707V]

Along with Panalpina and Deutsche Bahn’s Schenker [DBN.UL],
Kuehne & Nagel spent much of 2009 grappling with a fall in
freight demand due to the global recession.
(Editing by Michael Shields)
($1=1.045 Swiss Franc)

UPDATE 2-Kuehne & Nagel ups volume targets, H1 in line