Deutsche Post DHL swung to profit in the third quarter after a year earlier loss. The change was driven by surging ocean and air cargo volumes and “extraordinarily high” freight rates.
The German mail and logistics giant booked a net profit of $316.4 million in the three months to the end of September compared with a $116.2 million loss in the same period in 2009.
The Bonn-based company's revenue grew 13.9 percent to $17.9 billion.
Deutsche Post lifted its full year profit forecast to $2.8 billion - $2.9 billion from $2.66 billion - $2.9 billion and said it expects earnings to grow through 2011.
The company didn't increase the upper end of its 2010 forecast because of uncertainty over growth in cargo volume during the peak pre-Christmas shipping season.
"The company's very good performance in the third quarter demonstrates once again that we have an exceptionally good position that allows us to profit tremendously from positive economic trends," said Deutsche Post DHL Chief Financial Officer Frank Appel.
Deutsche Post attributed its third consecutive quarterly profit to the impact of the global economic recovery on DHL's express, ocean and air transport and supply chain management businesses.
Air freight and ocean container traffic posted high double digit gains in the quarter, the company said. "Freight rates are extraordinarily high, especially on trans-Pacific trade lanes."
The DHL divisions are expected to contribute more than $1.8 billion to 2010 earnings, overtaking for the first time the mail division, forecast to earn $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion.
The Global Forwarding and Freight division benefited most from the recovery of the international economy through 2010 with third quarter revenue jumping $1.4 billion, or 35.8 percent from a year ago, to $5.2 billion and operating profit gaining 34 percent to $142.8 million.
The express unit's revenue rose 11.7 percent to $3.8 billion. Underlying operating profit, benefiting from the exit from the U.S., UK and French domestic delivery markets, jumped over 48 percent to $272 million.
Supply chain management swung to a $114.8 million profit from a $117.6 million loss a year ago on a 12.9 percent rise in revenue to $4.8 billion.
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