Annual General Meeting 2008: New CEO Frank Appel in dialogue with shareholders05/06/2008, 11:00 AM CEST
- Dividend proposal: 20 percent increase
- Group confirms operational targets for 2008
Köln/Bonn, May 6, 2008: Acting in his new role as chief executive officer of Deutsche Post World Net, Frank Appel held his debut presentation in front of around 3,500 shareholders today. “A new era has begun,” Appel said at the Annual General Meeting in Cologne. “With a younger, more international management team and highly qualified employees, we will focus even more on creating more value for our investors, customers and employees in the future.” Appel pointed out that the Group has already exceeded some of the targets set in its capital market program Roadmap to Value and that the service initiative First Choice has gained considerable momentum in recent months.
Following the Group’s successful year of 2007, the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board are proposing a dividend increase of 20 percent to 90 euro cents. That amounts to a payout ratio of 78.2 percent of the consolidated net profit attributable to Deutsche Post AG’s stockholders. Since the company’s IPO, the dividend has risen by an average of around 19 percent a year. “Like in the past, we will stick to our dividend policy and allow our shareholders to participate in the positive business performance,” Appel promised. Deutsche Post’s dividend is tax-free for shareholders living in Germany.
Roadmap to Value
The Group has made good progress with the capital market program Roadmap to Value introduced in November. It is already clear that the goal of generating at least 1 billion euros from the sale of real estate by 2009 will be exceeded. In addition to property sales worth 350 million euros that have been agreed on since November, Deutsche Post World Net a month ago announced the sale of about 1,300 properties for 1 billion euros to U.S. investor Lone Star. The Group has also identified more than 100 projects that should help reach the goal of underpinning EBIT growth by 1 billion euros over the next two years. In January, the company also introduced the new primary performance metric EBIT after Asset Charge in a push to focus all divisions on sustained value growth. The new concept has already been incorporated into the compensation structure of 3,200 executives around the world.
The Group has also made strides in its effort to make transparency improvements sought by investors. Among others, the Services Division was unbundled and new results for the past four quarters reflecting the new structure were released.
Financial figures 2007
In 2007, revenue rose 4.9 percent to 63.5 billion euros. EBIT before non-recurring effects climbed 8 percent to 3.8 billion euros, meeting the Group’s expectations and forecast. Reported EBIT dropped 17 percent to 3.2 billion euros following a non-cash asset writedown in the EXPRESS Americas business. As a result, net income after minorities fell 28 percent to 1.4 billion euros, and earnings per share dropped to 1.15 euros from 1.60 euros.
The German mail market has been fully opened since Jan. 1, 2008. The MAIL division was able to maintain its strong market position partly due to major contracts with large customers. In addition to a more flexible cost structure and an increase in productivity, the MAIL division continues to focus on cementing its quality leadership and expanding its dialogue marketing business.
Concerning the wage negotiations with the Ver.di services union, an agreement could be reached last week and further strikes could be averted. The parties agreed on an extended job security pact, a pay increase for workers covered by the collective-bargaining agreement and additional weekly working time.
Deutsche Post World Net will continue to forcefully implement its capital market program Roadmap to Value in order to increase value for its stockholders. One element of the capital market program is the relentless focus on underperforming businesses. In this context, the Group has consistently narrowed down its options to substantially improve the performance of its EXPRESS Americas business and will announce a plan for the business by the end of May. The U.S. market remains a firm pillar of the express business’ global strategy.
Creating value for all stakeholders is also the focus of discussions about the future of Deutsche Postbank. Germany’s leading retail-customer bank has a unique competitive platform and, as a result, will play an active role in the consolidation of Germany’s national banking sector. In this process, all possibilities are being analyzed with care and deliberation.
The decision announced in March to split up the LOGISTICS Division into the two operational units of Supply Chain and Corporate Information Solutions under the direction of Bruce Edwards as well as Freight and Global Forwarding under the direction of Hermann Ude is being rapidly implemented. The objective of this breakup is to sharpen the focus of management resources on the different business models.
One special focal point for this year and next year will be the Group initiative First Choice. With a new culture of continuous service improvement, customer satisfaction is to be increased, enabling the Group to be No. 1 in all core markets in terms of customer loyalty by 2012. As part of that, we will respond to rising customer demand for climate-friendly products and services by expanding our range of carbon-neutral GOGREEN products. To that end, the Group in February approved the comprehensive climate protection program GoGreen and as the first major company in its industry set a specific, measurable climate protection goal: By 2020, carbon efficiency at the Group and its subcontractors is to be improved by 30 percent. That means, Deutsche Post World Net strives to cut carbon emissions for every letter sent, every container shipped and square meter used by almost a third.
Deutsche Post World Net has once again confirmed its forecast for EBIT before non-recurring effects of around 4.2 billion euros for 2008 as well as a pre-tax profit of around 3.2 billion euros.
The MAIL division is to generate EBIT of around 1.95 billion euros this year. The EXPRESS division expects EBIT of around 500 million euros, while EBIT of the LOGISTICS Division is to total around 1.05 billion euros this year. The FINANCIAL SERVICES Division expects EBIT of around 1.2 billion euros. In the division Corporate Center/Others, a loss of around 550 million euros is forecast.