Deutsche Post DHL said that the impact of the coronavirus on group EBIT would be between €60 million and €70 million for February, after it saw trade volumes weaken in Asia.
Chief executive Frank Appel said: “It is currently hard to judge how strong the impact of the Coronavirus will be,” as the company warned that in recent weeks trade volumes had weakened across inbound and outbound China trade lines.
It also warned that volumes had also weakened across inbound and outbound lines in other countries in Asia and that further industrial production constraints are expected outside of China.
It said that the significant impact was being felt in DHL Express and DHL Global Freight Forwarding divisions – the business is especially affected by cross-border trade flows into and out of China – while Post & Parcel Germany, as well as in DHL Supply Chain and DHL eCommerce solutions had been marginally impacted by the coronavirus.
However, the company warned, should the macroeconomic situation normalise again, there could also be positive effects for logistics companies, but in case of a longer duration or a worsening of the current situation over the coming months, the negative impacts for DHL are likely to outweigh the positives.
Appel said: “Deutsche Post DHL Group had a very good year 2019 and a successful start to 2020 in January. Thanks to our broad geographic set-up and our comprehensive portfolio we are more resilient than other companies. However, a worldwide crisis like the Coronavirus does not leave us unaffected. It is currently hard to judge how strong the impact on our business will be. That is why our guidance is as of now excluding any impact of this.”