Deutsche Post Plans Higher 2004 Dividend
Nine-month EBITA about 2.3 billion euros
- Management Board to recommend a dividend of 50 cents per share for 2004
- Nine-month revenue rises 9.7 percent to 31.7 billion euros
- STAR contributes record 118 Million euros to third-quarter earnings
- Full-year forecast for LOGISTICS division raised
Deutsche Post World Net reported a 10.7 percent increase in profit from operating activities (EBITA) in the first nine months to 2.257 billion euros. Revenue rose 9.7 percent to 31.7 billion euros. Main contributors to this positive development in group revenue were the EXPRESS and LOGISTICS Corporate Divisions as well as parts of the MAIL Division. Nine-month group net income was 890 million euros, compared with 869 million euros a year earlier. Earnings per share rose accordingly from 78 cents to 80 cents.
"In light of this, we intend to pass this positive overall development on to our shareholders in the form of a dividend increase," said Chief Financial Officer Edgar Ernst. From today's viewpoint, the Board of Managing Directors intends to propose to the Supervisory Board a dividend of 50 cents per share, an increase of 13.6 percent. For the previous business year Deutsche Post paid a dividend of 44 cents per share to shareholders.
The third quarter also recorded a positive development in key operating figures. Revenue improved by 9.9 percent to 10.7 billion euros in the period. Third-quarter EBITA rose to 575 million euros compared with 570 million euros in the year-earlier quarter; group net income decreased by 22.8 percent to 169 million euros as the Postbank IPO led to higher minority interests. Earnings per share amounted to 15 cents. In the year-earlier quarter, EPS was 20 cents.
Measures from the STAR value-creation and integration program contributed 118 million euros to third-quarter earnings. That's the highest quarterly contribution since the program was initiated almost two years ago. Since the start in Nov. 2002, STAR has contributed an accumulated 719 million euros to earnings.
MAIL Corporate Division
Revenue in the MAIL Corporate Division rose in the first nine months. Revenue amounted to 9.4 billion euros, an increase of 2.3 percent compared with the year-ago period. In addition to growth recorded by the "Mail International" Business Division, the "Direct Marketing" Business Division made a key contribution to this increase. The positive revenue development in these business divisions substantially overcompensated for the decline in the "Mail Communication" Business Division. EBITA in Corporate Division MAIL amounted to 1.541 billion euros, slightly lower than the year-earlier number of 1.566 billion euros.
EXPRESS Corporate Division
The Corporate Division EXPRESS recorded operating revenue growth in all regions. Sales rose by 25.1 percent in the first nine months of 2004 to about 13 billion euros. Acquisitions accounted for a major part of this growth. EBITA in the Americas region was burdened by increased expenditures for marketing and infrastructure in the U.S. Despite these ntegration costs, Corporate Division EXPRESS had an overall earnings gain. Nine-month EBITA was 148 million euros, a 13 percent increase compared to the year-ago amount.
LOGISTICS Corporate Division
The favorable development in the LOGISTICS Corporate Division (Air freight, ocean freight and customer-specific solutions) was maintained. Sales gained 14.2 percent to some 5 billion euros in the first nine months of the year. Both business units "DHL Solutions" and "DHL Danzas Air & Ocean" booked operating gains. EBITA rose by 45.9 percent to 197 million euros. The Group expects the positive trend in LOGISTICS to continue for the rest of 2004 and now forecasts an EBITA growth of at least 25 percent. Previously, the Group had foreseen growth of at least 10 percent.
FINANCIAL SERVICES Corporate Division
The FINANCIAL SERVICES Corporate Division consists of Postbank, the Pension Service and the Group's retail outlets. Postbank on Nov. 3 reported earnings separately. Revenue in the division fell by 8.2 percent to 5.5 billion euros in the first nine months, mainly attributable to a decline in interest income at Postbank. Nine-month 2004 EBITA gained 40.4 percent to 500 million euros.
Personnel Changes in the Supervisory Board
On Sept. 10, Roland Oetker, President of the DSW German Shareholder Association and Hans Reich, Chief Executive Officer of KfW Group, became members of the Deutsche Post Supervisory Board. Deputy Finance Minister Gerd Ehlers joined the body on Oct. 11. Jürgen Sengera, Ulrike Staake and Manfred Overhaus retired from the Supervisory Board.
Deutsche Post confirmed its full-year earnings forecast. Group EBITA is expected to increase by 7.5 percent to 12.5 percent this year and to reach at least 3.6 billion euros in 2005. The Group expects the MAIL Corporate Division to generate a 2004 EBITA on par with the previous year. In the EXPRESS Corporate Division, EBITA is forecast to decline by some 20 percent due to the additional expenditures in the U.S. The Group expects the LOGISTICS Corporate Division to continue its positive development and has raised the full-year EBITA forecast for the division. An increase of at least 25 percent is now being expected. Full-year EBITA in the FINANCIAL SERVICES Division is seen climbing at least 15 percent in the full year.