Cargo Handling

LuxairCARGO reports 2% growth in 2018 but tonnage down 8% so far in 2019

LuxairCARGO has reported its annual results for the 2018 financial year and said after several record years in terms of tonnes handled and growth activity slowed down to two per cent compared with 2017.

The cargo handler said the downturn was due to a slowdown in the global economy, which had a knock-on effect on world trade and the transportation of goods and commodities.

Cargo tonnage at Luxembourg Airport grew to their highest figure in 2018 as 957,000 tonnes were handled by LuxairCARGO – two per cent more than 2017.

LuxairCARGO said it has managed to develop its niche activities. Pharmaceutical goods handling rose by 22 per cent to 36,830 tonnes. Live animal transportation also rose sharply, with a 58 per cent increase in the transportation of horses with 2,524 horses handled.

The handler said 2018 was also marked by heavy investment in the implementation of a new logistics management tool, which will increase productivity and improve quality by facilitating work processes.

Two new positions for aircraft have been created, which brings the total number of aircraft that can be loaded or unloaded simultaneously up to 12. The slow-down in 2018 resulted in a 23.5 per cent decrease in LuxairCARGO’s activity.

The beginning of 2019 has also been marked by an eight per cent drop in tonnage handled from January to April and the handler said “currently there are no signs of improvement”.

LuxairCARGO added it is dependent on world economic fluctuations and therefore can only follow the evolution of international trade.

“The current trend forecasts a stagnation at best. This is preoccupying when you bear in mind, based on past experience, that variations in the air-freight sector generally predict future turbulence in the world economy,” the handler said.

The handler is part of the LuxairGroup which closed 2018 with a positive result, despite experiencing an enormous amount of pressure on all of its activities.

LuxairGroup closed 2018 with an operating profit of €0.8 million and a net result of €12.5 million. Operating profit from sales was down by €1.2 million compared with 2018, however the net result which includes financial results is up by €3 million.

Luxair Luxembourg Airlines is suffering from increased competition, especially from low-cost airlines at Luxembourg Airport, and from a constant increase in production costs.

LuxairGroup president and chief executive officer, Adrien Ney said: “We managed to increase all our activities in 2018 – whether it was in terms of passenger numbers, or tonnage handled – but operating growth and profitability no longer go hand in hand, due to a sharp rise in costs and pressure on profit margins.

“But we know how to overcome these difficulties, and despite a sharp decrease forecasted for 2019, I am confident about the future, because LuxairGroup is a strong and dynamic company with a healthy and sound balance sheet situation.”