Deutsche Post DHL confident about ongoing fiscal year
- CEO Frank Appel at today's Annual General Meeting: "We will benefit overproportionally from the recovery of the world economy"
- Economic and financial market crisis successfully overcome in 2009, unchanged dividend of EUR 0.60 per share proposed
- Remuneration system containing additional sustainability component introduced to shareholders
With global trade volume rising, the world's leading postal and logistics group, Deutsche Post DHL, expects to generate higher revenues and increase its consolidated net profit this year. These expectations were underscored by CEO Frank Appel at the company's Annual General Meeting held today in Frankfurt am Main.
"We have successfully overcome the crisis and further solidified our position as the world's leading logistics provider and Europe's largest postal company under extremely adverse conditions. This unique positioning will enable us to benefit overproportionally from the accelerating recovery of the world economy," Appel declared. The perceptible rebound in volume in the first months of the year is a clear indication of a strengthening economic upswing, the chairman of the company's Board of Management said. This recovery reinforces the fundamental optimism about the Group's future direction this year, he added. Deutsche Post DHL will release details about its first-quarter volume and business performance with its interim report on May 11, 2010.
Review 2009: earnings target exceeded
During fiscal year 2009, Deutsche Post DHL successfully managed the repercussions of the economic and financial-market crisis and surpassed the company's earnings targets in a very challenging market environment. Underlying EBIT totaled EUR 1.47 billion, exceeding the guidance that was raised during the year. The consolidated net profit reached EUR 644 million, compared with the loss of EUR 1.7 billion experienced in 2008. This turnaround reflects, among other things, the steps taken to reinforce profitability in all divisions. The IndEx program, for instance, generated savings of more than EUR 1.1 billion through the end of last year - EUR 100 million more and one year earlier than originally planned. Earnings per share climbed from EUR -1.40 to EUR 0.53 in fiscal year 2009.
Turning to the company's strategic direction, Appel also reported that significant progress was made last year: "Our Group is now better positioned than it has ever been." Portfolio streamlining and the systematic implementation of the Strategy 2015 announced last year contributed strongly to this development. At the beginning of 2009, the Group sold Postbank, enabling the company to sharpen its focus on the core divisions Mail and Logistics. Furthermore at the end of 2009, the company sold its domestic express business in the United Kingdom, Appel said.
Stable dividend as sign of reliability
Based on last year's positive results and its confidence about the future development of the Group, the Board of Management and Supervisory Board proposed an unchanged dividend of EUR 0.60 per share for 2009 to the Annual General Meeting to be distributed to shareholders free of tax. Based on the 2009 year-end closing share price, the net dividend yield totaled 4.4 percent. Going forward, the Group - as a central part of its new, continuity-focused financial strategy - strives to pay out 40 percent to 60 percent of consolidated net profit to its shareholders. In his address at the AGM, Appel stressed that this commitment should be viewed as a clear signal of reliability and predictability.
Presentation of the modified remuneration system for members of the Board of Management
Items on the agenda of the Annual General Meeting also include the re-approval of the authorization to acquire the company's own shares - also through derivatives - and the endorsement of the remuneration system for Board of Management members that was modified at the end of last year. A major feature of the change that applies to all contracts and contract extensions concluded after August 5, 2009, is the addition of a further sustainability component. As a result, half of the annual performance-based remuneration will flow into a medium-term component with a three-year calculation period. The payment will be made after three years, and only if the sustainability targets were reached. The objective of this step is to further increase the orientation of Board of Management remuneration on sustainable company growth.
For the entire year, the company expects underlying EBIT to rise to between EUR 1.6 billion and EUR 1.9 billion. At the same time, the earnings contribution of the DHL divisions is to be roughly the same as that of the MAIL division for the first time. "In the future, we are counting on DHL to be the driving force of growth in the consolidated net profit," Appel said. During the current year, Deutsche Post DHL will make "the lives of our customers easier by offering innovative products, increased service quality and the continuous development of specific solutions," Appel said. By doing so the company would be able to generate growth and sustainably improve the Group's profitability. For 2011, Appel expects to see a continuation of the positive earnings trend.