* Sees 2012 EBIT of 2.5-2.6 bln eur vs poll avg 2.59 bln
* Q4 EBIT 599 mln eur vs poll avg 646 mln eur
* Net profit down 64 pct on Postbank-related writedown
* 2011 div 0.70 eur/shr vs yr-earlier 0.65 eur
* Shares indicated 1.8 percent higher
By Maria Sheahan
BERLIN, March 8 Deutsche Post DHL
sees its sales and operating profit edging up this
year, and continued growth in the coming years on the back of
robust Asian demand for express delivery and supply chain
"Of course growth numbers will be smaller this year than in
the last two years, but we have no indication of a recession,"
Chief Executive Frank Appel said.
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) will improve to
2.5-2.6 billion euros ($3.3-3.4 billion) from 2.44 billion euros
last year, Europe's biggest mail and express delivery company
said on Thursday, reporting a 33 percent jump in 2011 profit.
Analysts on average see the company's 2012 EBIT edging up to
2.59 billion euros.
U.S. rival UPS, which is pursuing Netherlands-based
TNT Express, in January forecast 9-15 percent growth
in profits this year as solid U.S. demand and growing e-commerce
shipments offset an uneven global economy.
TNT, which posted weak results and highlighted a bleak
economic outlook last month, has rejected UPS's approach but has
said talks are ongoing.
Deutsche Post CEO Appel indicated he had no intention of
jumping into the fray over TNT, saying the company had no
"strategic need" to make acquisitions.
Deutsche Post's fourth-quarter EBIT rose 14.1 percent to 599
million euros, falling short of the 646 million forecast in a
Reuters poll, as a slowdown in demand for ocean and air freight
in the later part of the year weighed on earnings from its
freight forwarding business.
Air freight volumes - an indicator for the health of world
trade - have been declining for months and dropped 8 percent in
January after a 2011 decline of 0.8 percent.
Freight forwarding is one of Deutsche Post's four main
businesses - alongside express delivery, supply chain and mail
services - and accounts for more than a quarter of group
Fourth-quarter net profit dropped by 64 percent to 175
million euros, including writedown of more than 400 million
euros on the value of financial instruments related to Deutsche
Post's divestment of lender Deutsche Postbank.
Excluding that impact, net profit was up 46 percent at 369
million euros, just below a consensus forecast of 376 million.
Deutsche Post also raised its dividend to 0.70 euros per
share from 0.65 euros a year earlier.