Parcel boom delivers confidence for Deutsche Post


Frankfurt am Main (AFP)

German logistics group Deutsche Post DHL on Wednesday said it had hit its targets for 2017 and remained confident for this year, buoyed by continuing growth in online shopping.

Net profit at the Bonn-based firm increased 2.8 percent, to 2.7 billion euros ($3.3 billion) last year, slightly short of forecasts from analysts surveyed by Factset.

Operating, or underlying profit grew 7.2 percent, to 3.7 billion euros, while revenues added 5.4 percent to reach 60.4 billion.

Chief executive Frank Appel hailed "another very good year" powered by growth across all of the group's divisions.

The group's post, ecommerce, parcels unit and express deliveries business reported the strongest growth in revenues, accounting between them for more than half of the group's sales over the year.

The post, ecommerce and parcels units delivered more than 1.3 billion packages in 2017, an increase of 7.8 percent year-on-year, and was boosted in Europe by the integration of British acquisition UK Mail.

Looking ahead to this year, Deutsche Post -- which owns the DHL express global delivery service -- forecast a 10-percent increase in operating profit to around 4.15 billion euros, keeping it on track for its longer-term goal to exceed 5.0 billion by 2020.

It will offer investors a dividend of 1.15 euros per share, an increase of 9.5 percent on last year's figure, at its annual general meeting on April 24.