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Deutsche Post DHL Forecasts Higher Earnings, Hikes Dividend


German postal and logistics firm Deutsche Post DHL (DPSTF.PK) issued a positive earnings forecast for fiscal 2012 and hiked its dividend. The company also announced a 46 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit, excluding certain valuation charges related to the sale of its German retail banking unit Deutsche Postbank AG. Including the valuation charges, quarterly profit plunged 64 percent.

For the fourth quarter, consolidated net profit fell to 175 million euros or 0.14 euros per share from 487 million euros or 0.40 euros per share a year ago. The results were negatively impacted by more than 400 million euros related to valuation of financial instruments following the sale of Deutsche Postbank to Deutsche Bank AG (DB).

Excluding Postbank valuation effects, quarterly net profit climbed 46.4 percent to 369 million euros or 0.31 euros per basic share with improved revenues and cost control measures.

Revenue for the recent quarter improved 2.1 percent to 14.13 billion euros. Adjusted for exchange-rate and consolidation effects, revenues increased 3.5 percent. The company added that its operating earnings rose 14.1 percent with biggest contribution from logistics division.

For fiscal 2011, net profit, adjusted for the Postbank valuation effects, climbed 50.6 percent and revenues grew 2.8 percent.

Annual operating earnings were almost one-third higher than last year, reaching the earnings guidance that the company increased twice during 2011. DHL division, with 54.6 percent increase, was the growth driver, particularly driven by Asia.

This offset a decline in MAIL division's earnings even though the segment, with its parcel business, continues to profit from the fast-paced growth of Internet retailing.

Deutsche Post CEO Frank Appel said, "2011 was a very good year for our Group. We hit all of our targets, made very good progress with the implementation of our Strategy 2015 and further bolstered the already very strong platform for a sustainable expansion of our earnings in the future."

Further, citing the positive results and its confidence about its future performance, the company said its Boards will again propose a dividend increase of 0.05 euros per share to 0.70 euros per share.

Looking ahead, the company forecasts an increase of fiscal 2012 operating earnings to between 2.5 billion and 2.6 billion euros, while the consolidated net profit would improve in line with the operating business. The anticipated gains in revenues and earnings would be driven by the DHL divisions.

In addition, Deutsche Post expects the positive earnings trend to continue beyond the current fiscal year, and reiterated that operating profit at DHL division would increase between 13 and 15 percent on average each year between 2010 and 2015.

Meanwhile, the cost measures and growth programs introduced in the MAIL division should further stabilize its profitability, even if letter volumes continue to gradually decline, the company said.

Deutsche Post shares are currently trading at 13.32 euros, up 0.40 euros or 3.10 percent on Frankfurt's Xetra.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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