Deutsche Post DHL saw profits jump by a whopping 64 percent in the first quarter of 2012, driven by booming business in Asia. But a strong rival is emerging for Europe's biggest postal and logistics firm.
The German courier service boosted revenues by 4 percent to 13.4 billion euros ($17.46 billion) in the first three months of 2012, company figures released Tuesday showed, resulting in a net profit of 533 million euros - up 64 percent compared with the end of 2011.
Strong sales in Asia contributed "significantly" to the results as revenues rose from package delivery service there, as well as from the firm's freight and supply chain business, the company, based in Bonn, said in a statement.
"Our China business has grown massively," Deutsch Post Chief Executive Frank Appel said, noting that he expected to profit from "continuously rising" trade volumes in the Asian country and the region as a whole.
In addition, Europe's biggest logistics company reported a rise in postal services in Germany as package deliveries in the firm's home market had grown substantially.
Furthermore, a final one-off contribution from the sell-off of Deutsche Postbank financial institution to Deutsche Bank had boosted profits.
Seeing the firm on a "good path" towards meeting its 2012 targets, CEO Frank Appel confirmed his previous outlook of earnings before interest and taxes (ebit) of between 2.5 and 2.6 billion euros for the whole year.
Deutsche Post DHL's previously unrivalled position as Europe's top postal and logistics firm is being contested by a recent merger between US package delivery company United Parcel Service (UPS) and its Dutch peer TNT Express.
The deal worth 5.2 billion euros was sealed in March and is expected to expand the US firm's global revenue to more than $60 billion (45 billion euros).
UPS aims to gain access to TNT's stronger networks in Europe, as well as in the fast-growing Asian and Latin American markets.
Deutsche Post said that the merger would "strengthen the power of a significant player in a market with limited participants," and urged EU competition regulators to examine the takeover "thoroughly."
uhe/nk (dapd, dpa, Reuters)