Swissport aims to grow in the Asia-Pacific region

Today, in its release of earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for 2018, Zurich-based cargo handler Swissport touted its March 2018 strategic acquisition of Australian ground services company Aerocare as “a growth platform in the Asia-Pacific region, creating the basis for our regional expansion.”

The European handler’s Asia-Pacific footprint has been fairly limited to-date compared to its European and American operations. Asia-Pacific growth has been primarily driven through acquisitions, as with its 2005 acquisition of Globeground Korea, which added Seoul to its network, and more recently, the Aerocare acquisition.

Turning to its 2018 performance, Swissport reported operating EBITDA up 24.1% to €273 million, and a 6.8% year-over-year increase in its airport ground services business, to €2.4 billion. Swissport’s air cargo handle for the year increased 1.8% to 4.8 million tonnes in 2018. However, the number of airports served by Swissport fell year-over-year, from 315 in March 2018 to 303 in May 2019.

While it appears that Swissport’s global footprint may have declined slightly y-o-y, the handler has already moved to streamline its future operations and better position itself for growth with a management restructure announced in December 2018. Under the restructuring plan, Swissport consolidated its management structure from nine regions to three, covering the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), APAC (Asia-Pacific) and Americas regions. The company has also made recent moves to grow its EMEA business through its purchase of the remaining 50% stake in Heathrow Cargo Handling Ltd. At London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR).