Deutsche Post - DHL (DP-DHL) announced what it described as an "on target" performance for its full year and last quarter 2011.
Top line numbers were clouded by changes to previously published figures, however revenue for 2011 was €52,829m an increase in the region of 2%, whilst EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Tax) was €2,436m which, under DPDHL's restated figures, is a 32.8% increase. The 'bottom line' in terms of consolidated net profit was complicated as a result of the sale of the remaining stake in PostBank.
At the Mail division, revenue edged-up slightly at €13,973m, whilst profits edged down slightly by around 1% after exceptionals to €1,107m. The strength of the German economy has slowed the decline in overall mail demand, but the secular fall in the postal market remains. However, parcels remain an area of growth within the division as volumes increased by 9.8% due, in great part, to internet commerce.
The Express division also saw a respectable 5.9% increase in revenue at €11,766m, whilst EBIT was €927m. DP-DHL claim this as an 86.5% increase in profits, however last year's EBIT was originally stated as €785m; so the picture is unclear. Either way, the Express business is benefitting from the growth of the inter-continental market and DHL's positioning within it. DHL Express was keen to illustrate how its Asian businesses are growing in double digit percentages.
The performance at 'DHL Forwarding, Freight' was more equivocal. Volumes in both airfreight and sea freight were down slightly at -1.3% and -0.1% respectively, although revenue increased by 12% on the restated figures to €15,044m. The company described its approach to the market as 'selective', choosing only the more profitable business, which could possibility explain how Kuehne + Nagel was able to deliver such high volume increases in its annual results. The road freight business however, saw rising demand and hardening margins.
The contract logistics business, 'DHL Supply Chain', also saw a fairly flat performance with revenue increasing 1.2% to €13,223m, although profits leapt by over 50% on restated figures to €362m. DHL Supply Chain claim considerable "organic revenue growth" in the region of 6% clouded only by divestments in the US. Growth in Asia-Pacific continued to be strong and contributed to the improvement in margins.
DP-DHL's CEO, Frank Appel, may well describe the company as being on target with its profit and revenue. However, whilst performance in Express was quite good and the company is clearly working to improve profitability in its logistics business, it was not quite as an assured performance as seen elsewhere in this reporting season.
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