Deutsche Post DHL’S operating profit (EBIT) reached £551m (629m euros) in the first quarter, 22.9 per cent up on last year. Sales were up 6.9 per cent to £11.2bn (12.8bn euros).
Frank Appel, the chief executive officer, said: “We have gotten off to a dynamic and very successful start in 2011. The first quarter clearly demonstrated that our growth is based on a broad and very strong foundation.
“As a result, we are in an ideal position to benefit significantly from the continuing momentum in global markets and to reveal step by step our Group’s full potential.”
DHL’s supply chain division saw EBIT rise by 39.3 per cent £68m (78m euros). DHL says this was because of profitability gains, which in the first quarter were largely the result of an improved contract mix, strict cost management and higher business volume.
Sales at £2.89bn (3.3bn euros) were up 7.5 per cent. “Retail” and “Life Sciences & Healthcare” sectors, which produce nearly half of the division’s revenue, performed particularly well. The highest regional revenue gains were in the Asia-Pacific region.
New contracts totalled £280m (320m euros), one-third higher than during the same period of last year. At the same time, the profit margins of the new contracts reflect a significant improvement compared to the previous year.
Sales at the forwarding freight division reached £3.2bn (3.6bn euros), up 14.9 per cent, while EBIT increased by 30.2 per cent to £61m (69m euros) in the first three months of this year.
EBIT in the express division nearly doubled in the first quarter reaching £189m (216m euros) while sales climbed by 5.5 per cent.
Deutsche Post’s mail operations in Germany showed falling sales, despite stable volumes, largely due to it covering customers’ VAT.