Last week in Amsterdam, close to 50 analysts and investors listened attentively to Panalpina’s executive board and other senior managers, as they elaborated on the company’s strategic journey at the Capital Markets Day. The one-day event marked the first joint public appearance of Stefan Karlen as the new CEO and Peter Ulber as the new chairman of the board of directors.
The morning session was dedicated to Panalpina’s achievements since the last Capital Markets Day, held in November 2013. “I think we successfully demonstrated that we have taken risk out of the business in the past three years and laid the foundations for future growth,” said Ulber.
Growth was the main theme of the four afternoon sessions, which were held in smaller groups in a workshop atmosphere. These deep-dive sessions on the topics of “Ocean Freight and Productivity”, “Sales Growth”, “Air Freight and Perishables” as well as “Logistics and Innovation” allowed for extended Q&A sessions.
Guest speaker Peter Weijmarshausen, CEO of our new strategic partner Shapeways, gave an inspiring and insightful presentation on 3D printing. In his view, with big technology players such as HP now entering the market, the 3D printing industry will fundamentally shift very soon: The family-owned businesses of today will make way for world-class manufacturing centers where time to market, quality and lean processes are determining factors. And this is where Panalpina with its Logistics Manufacturing experience, lean mindset and global presence can play an active role.
“Innovation is one growth pillar,” said Karlen. “But we also want to grow organically, for example by growing the business with existing customers. And as mentioned before, we are looking into bolt-on acquisitions as a means of growing externally.”
CFO Robert Erni added: “In an environment where we expect stagnant or even declining air and ocean freight markets, we will, of course, also diligently continue to control cost and improve our operations.”
Feedback from the analysts and investors on the event and Panalpina’s strategic journey was very positive as they engaged with the leadership team throughout the day.
“The take-home message for the participants was clear and simple: We have done our homework and achieved a lot since the last Capital Markets Day. Now, Panalpina is switching to growth,” concluded Karlen.