(Corrects figures in penultimate para)
* Deutsche Post Q4 EBIT 885 mln eur vs Rtr poll 878 mln
* DHL Q4 EBIT 637 mln eur, up 13.3 pct
* Sees 2014 group EBIT 2.9-3.1 bln eur
* Shares down 0.9 percent lower vs DAX down 1.1 pct
By Marilyn Gerlach
BONN, Germany, March 12 Deutsche Post
expects its Express international courier business to grow this
year after a strong finish to 2013, which saw demand returning
amid a cautious recovery in Europe and a boom in online shopping
Peers such as United Parcel Service Inc have
forecast a stronger year ahead, while European logistics
competitors like Kuehne & Nagel as well as Panalpina
estimate modest growth on the back of an uptick in
Asian shipping traffic from Europe.
"The economy may improve a bit. But we think that a strong
global recovery will take more time to materialise. Nonetheless
we intend to continue our positive earnings momentum," Chief
Executive Frank Appel said on Wednesday after the company
published 2013 operating profit that beat forecasts.
Appel declined to provide specifics on where growth would
come from but board member Ken Allen told reporters DHL was
growing faster than UPS, FedEx and TNT in the so-called Time
Definite International product, which delivers urgent documents
and goods door-to-door the next day.
Allen said growth was strong both in Europe and Asia while
it was also starting to regain some of its market share in the
He said there was "very, very strong" growth in countries
like Spain, Italy and Greece, where small firms have difficulty
doing business domestically and were looking to export.
Deutsche Post reported fourth-quarter earnings before
interest and tax (EBIT) of 885 million euros ($1.23 billion), up
7 percent, but revenues fell 0.6 percent to 14.5 billion, hit by
a strong euro.
It forecast this year's group EBIT to rise to between 2.9
billion and 3.1 billion euros, compared with 2.06 billion last
year, with the DHL logistics division generating 2.1-2.3
Deutsche Post, which has grown into a global logistics
corporation under the DHL brand after the former postal company
went public in 2000, generates some 45 percent of its Express
revenues in Europe, where it grew revenue by 4.9 percent to 5.9
billion euros for the whole of last year.
DHL - comprising Express, Global Forwarding and Supply Chain
divisions - reported operating profit of 2.1 billion euros last
year, posting its strongest growth - at 13.3 percent - in the
final quarter. Profit at Express in the quarter alone grew 14.3
percent to 320 million euros.
"The key driver of the underlying EBIT growth was Express,"
analyst Damian Brewer of RBC Capital Markets said.
Forwarders buy cargo space from airlines, shippers and
truckers and bundle shipments of its customers, such as
carmakers and high-tech firms. They also offer warehousing,
warranty processing, returns management as well as customs and
Appel said DHL was still facing an economic headwind in
certain areas, adding cost controls and its customer selection
strategy had limited the impact of weakening demand in the air
and ocean-freight business on the profitability of Forwarding.
He said Express - which delivers urgent documents and goods
door to door within 24-hours - and supply chain - whose
carmaking and high-tech clients benefit from its warehousing and
distribution facilities - reported a slight dip in revenues but
excluding exchange rate effects and disposals, revenues rose.
Deutsche Post said the international Express business
benefited last year mainly from the overall stabilisation of the
economy, the increase in e-commerce and growing importance of
small and medium-sized companies in international trade.
Like peers FedEX, UPS and Royal Mail, Deutsche Post
benefited from a surge in online shopping just before Christmas,
boosting the number of parcels delivered.
Deutsche Post said on Wednesday its parcels business holds a
42.3 percent share of Germany's 8.2 billion euros parcels market
and grew revenues last year by 7.9 percent to 3.75 billion euros
by clearing the 1 billion parcel barrier for the first time last
The Mail division, which includes the domestic parcels
business, has been hit by a growing trend in email and social
media messaging and accounts for about a quarter of group
revenues. It posted a 3 percent rise in revenues, but operating
profit fell 3.2 percent, dragged down by higher wage costs.
($1 = 0.7212 euros)
(Reporting by Marilyn Gerlach; editing by Jason Neely and