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Business

Deutsche Post Reports Massive Losses for 2008

Deutsche Post has been hit by losses totaling 1.69 billion euros ($2.15 billion) for 2008, the company reported. It's the company's first overall loss since privatization of the German postal industry in 1995.

The Deutsche Post building in Bonn

The situation has been anything but bright and shiny at Deutsche Post

The high losses at the world's biggest logistics company were largely a result of the company's loss-making US business arm DHL express mail, as well as deficits at the company's Postbank subsidiary, according to an announcement made on Wednesday, Feb. 25.

The board of management has turned down any bonus payments for 2008, Deutsche Post spokeswoman Silje Skogstad said.

Unlike managers, Deutsche Post shareholders will receive a reduced dividend of 0.6 euros per share for 2008, compared to a 0.9-euro dividend the year before.

Much bad news

A DHL airplane and vans

DHL Express has cost the Post a lot of money

In the fourth quarter of 2008, earnings before tax and interest, cleared of one-off charges, stood at 765 million euros. For the same period in 2007, this figure stood at 1.04 billion euros.

Bottom-line earnings fell from 253 million euros in the previous year, to minus 3.16 billion euros in 2008. Turnover from October to the end of December shrank from 14.5 billion euros in 2007 to 14.02 billion euros last year.

Tough year ahead

Given the disappointing results for 2008 and the difficult economic environment at present, the board of Deutsche Post is presently not giving estimates for 2009.

"We assume that the year 2009 will be very tough for the entire logistics industry," the Head of Deutsche Post Frank Appel said.

Appel said he was developing a new strategy to reorganize the business. By the end of 2010, savings of at least a billion euros are anticipated.

The head of Deutsche Post's Express division, John Mullen, has unexpectedly stepped down. Mullen, 53, had worked for the corporation since 1994. He is due to be replaced by Ken Allen.

The Express arm of the business, which deals with urgent deliveries, had been fighting with negative returns in recent years. In the US, the division had multi-million-dollar deficits.

Author: Darren Mara with dpa, afp

Editor: Sean Sinico

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