Yet again Norbert Dentressangle has out-performed the market with its latest 9 month figures showing an overall underlying increase in revenues of 5.1%. This is despite the assessment of the company’s Chairman, Hervé Montjotin who said that the, “French market is still weak, due to the unfavourable economic climate.”
Yet even in France, which accounts for 58% of revenue, Norbert saw growth of 1.4% in like-for-like sales over the 9 months. The core transport business was described as being in a ‘slump’ in France yet it still returned an underlying increase of 3.7% in revenue which the company ascribed to the, ‘the resilience of the full-load businesses and the ongoing strong momentum of the pallet distribution business.’ Revenue was up 6.8% at €1,618m after acquisitions. Frustratingly the 9 month results do not include profit numbers however the company said that the operating margins were ‘comparable to the levels recorded over the past few years.’
The contract logistics division performed even better with a 6.7% increase in like-for-like terms driven by ‘the start-up of major e-commerce and Russian contracts during the period.’ Underlying volumes were described as stable but acquisitions drove-up revenues to €1,670m, an 18.5% increase on a consolidated basis.
The small forwarding business that Norbert is developing was not so dynamic with an underlying increase of 0.8%, although the company states that the third quarter saw growth from business in France, Russia and China. The year-on-year jump of revenue of 59.2% to €149m over the first nine months was driven by its big purchases, although it appears that the Jacobson Company acquisition is not yet in these numbers.
As has been the case for some time at Norbert, the UK has proved to be a stable base for its business against a troubled France, however other parts of Europe such as Spain, which saw growth of 10.1%, are in the vanguard of its expansion.
This performance from Norbert continues the trend seen over the past couple of years of a surprisingly solid performance from both the transport and contract logistics businesses but a still shaky presence in global forwarding. With the acquisitions in the US this is likely to have to change as Norbert Dentressangle becomes a much more global company.