Deutsche Post braces for Christmas ecommerce boom

FILE PHOTO: Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer of German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL, casts a shadow at the company's annual news conference in Troisdorf near Bonn, Germany March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

BERLIN (Reuters) - German logistics group Deutsche Post AG DPWGn.DE said on Tuesday it was working on securing the capacity it needs to handle a big rise in ecommerce over the Christmas season, which will determine whether it meets the upper end of its outlook.

Deutsche Post DHL, one of the world’s biggest post and freight companies, reported third-quarter operating profit jumped almost 50% to 1.4 billion euros ($1.66 billion) on revenue up 4.4% to 16.2 billion, versus average analyst forecasts for 16.1 billion.

It confirmed the updated guidance it gave last month for 2020 operating profit of between 4.1 billion and 4.4 billion euros, but said achieving the upper end would depend on whether it can efficiently use its delivery networks as volumes soar.

Rivals like United Parcel Service Inc UPS.N and FedEx Corp FDX.N have been seeking to get an early start to a holiday shipping rush that is certain to stress networks already running at near capacity due to pandemic-fueled ecommerce.

Deutsche Post increased its guidance for 2020 free cash flow to more than 2 billion euros, from a previous more than 1.8 billion.

Deutsche Post said the German parcel business grew volume 11.6% in the third quarter, above the outlook for up to 5% given at the start of the year, while the express division saw revenue jump 14.6% and ecommerce solutions sales rose 26.1%.

($1 = 0.8452 euros)

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Michelle Adair