Deutsche Post Annual General Meeting 2003: Positive messages for the shareholdersCologne/Bonn, 06/05/2003, 11:30 AM CEST
- Higher revenue and strong earnings in 2002
- Dividend increase by 8 percent
- Sustained positive contributions to earnings from the STAR program
- Starting fiscal year 2003 with earnings growth
Today, Deutsche Post will receive its shareholders for the third annual general meeting at the Kölnarena. Among other items, the shareholders will decide on the amount of the 2002 dividend. The Board of Management and Supervisory Board propose a distribution of EUR 445 million, which corresponds to a dividend of EUR 0.40 per share. This represents an increase in the dividend of 8.1 percent over the previous year. "This proposal allows our shareholders to participate in our strong earnings," says Chairman of the Board Dr. Klaus Zumwinkel. "We are consciously sending a positive signal for the shareholder culture and underscoring the solidity and strength of our Group."
In a year of global economic difficulties, Deutsche Post World Net attained the second highest results in its corporate history in 2002. Revenue rose by 17.6 percent to EUR 39.3 billion, of which 41 percent was earned abroad, as compared to 33 percent in the prior year. This shows Deutsche Post World Net to be the best positioned logistics group with the most extensive international infrastructure, as compared to its competitors.
At EUR 2.42 billion, the forecast for profit from operating activities (EBITA) was clearly exceeded. All corporate divisions met their return targets for fiscal 2002.
Deutsche Post World Net was able to increase net profit before minority interest and extraordinary expense by 0.2 percent to EUR 1.59 billion. Due to the EU state aid ruling in the one-time amount of EUR 907 million - which is being challenged by the company - consolidated net profit dropped to EUR 659 million. Earnings per share fell accordingly to EUR 0.59. Adjusted for the extraordinary expense from the state aid ruling, this figure is at EUR 1.41.
The Group's extremely solid financial structure in 2002 is demonstrated by the good ratio of net debt (EUR 1.986 billion) to cash flow (EUR 3.087 billion). The Group could repay its entire debt with less than eight months' cash flow.
STAR value creation program
The STAR value creation program has made significant contributions to strong earnings. STAR measures already contributed EUR 86 million to earnings in the last quarter of 2002. With the addition of the first three months of this year, contributions from STAR total EUR 179 million. The target, reiterated at the Annual General Meeting, is an increase in earnings totalling EUR 1.4 billion and EBITA of at least EUR 3.6 billion by the year 2005.
Dr. Zumwinkel on the continuing positive and sustainable gains from STAR: "STAR is the clear commitment to value orientation in our Group. We have set clear and fixed targets, which we intend to achieve and will achieve. STAR will increase the Group's productivity by around 40 percent by 2005. That is a clear promise to the capital markets."
Development of the share of Deutsche Post
Though the share price of Deutsche Post declined in 2002, it still outperformed the DAX. The share price has climbed 33.1 percent since the beginning of the year (closing price on 2 June 2003), making the Deutsche Post shares the winner among the 30 DAX companies.
Group Chairman Zumwinkel: "Our goal remains for the share, and thus our company, to be appropriately and better valued by the capital markets. We will put all our energy to work on this goal."
Deutsche Post World Net overcame numerous challenges in fiscal 2002 to achieve good revenues and profits against the setting of a difficult international political and economic situation. The Group launched fiscal year 2003 with more growth. Revenue and earnings in the first three months exceeded the figures for the previous year. The company is not counting on an improvement in the global economic environment for fiscal 2003 as a whole. But in spite of difficult general conditions and reduction in letter rates, the Group is forecasting earnings of EUR 2.8 billion for 2003*.
The Group expects the global express and logistics business in particular to provide significant impulses.
- Worldwide - The integration and pooling of all DHL, Express, and Logistics activities under the DHL umbrella brand are at center stage for fiscal 2003. The brand was re-launched in May of this year and is being accompanied by a global communications offensive. The goal is to establish the "new" DHL with the Group's customers in Germany, Europe and the world as the internationally leading brand for express and logistics.
- USA - With the announcement of the takeover of Airborne, the US-based express company, Deutsche Post World Net is expanding its market share in the USA and is positioning itself as Number 3 in the world's most important express market.
- Asia - The Group's initial investment in Sinotrans, the leading Chinese transport and logistics company, and major investments in infrastructure are additional important steps taken by the Group to further expand its leading role in the Asia/Pacific Region, the region with the strongest growth potential.
Overall, Deutsche Post World Net is excellently positioned for the future in all major global markets.
Original recordings of Dr. Edgar Ernst, Board Member Finance of Deutsche Post World Net, at the Annual General Meeting are available at www.deutschepost.de (only available in german).
- |* (Previous year: EUR 2,969 million. Note: The presentation of this item has changed compared to the previous fiscal year. In order to ensure comparability, the prior-period figure has been restated accordingly. The interest expense on provisions for pensions and other interest-bearing provisions is now carried under net finance costs, and not reported in EBITA as previously.)
- * (Previous year: EUR 2,969 million. Note: The presentation of this item has changed compared to the previous fiscal year. In order to ensure comparability, the prior-period figure has been restated accordingly. The interest expense on provisions for pensions and other interest-bearing provisions is now carried under net finance costs, and not reported in EBITA as previously.)