Germany's Deutsche Post DHL, the global mail and logistics group, reported first quarter operating profit soared over 80 percent from a year ago driven by strong growth in its express, ocean and air freight units.
Underlying earnings rose to $725 million from $400 million and revenue grew 4.4 percent to $15.4 billion from $14.7 billion in the first three months of 2009.
Net profit jumped 85 percent to $2.2 billion, largely reflecting gains from the sale of its Postbank unit.
"The encouraging start to the new year confirms our fundamental optimism about 2010," Chief Financial Officer Larry Rosen said.
"Our financial position is very solid -- and we expect it to remain so in the future," Rosen said.
The Bonn-based company said it expects its 2010 operating profit to be close to the upper end of its forecast of $2 billion to $2.4 billion compared with $1.9 billion in 2009.
The company said it's on target for profit from its DHL express and global freight forwarding businesses to match that of its traditional postal division.
"In the future, our goal is to achieve a stable result in the mail division and for DHL to become the driving force of growth in consolidated net profit," Rosen said.
The express division performed "particularly well" in the first quarter, increasing revenue 9 percent to $3.3 billion from $3 billion and booking a profit of $197 million against a $154 million year-earlier loss.
Express revenue, adjusted for exchange rate effects, rose 16.1 percent in the Americas and 19.3 percent in the Asia-Pacific region.
The result was helped by DHL completing the restructuring of its U.S. business, including the withdrawal from domestic deliveries.
Global freight forwarding revenue rose 13.5 percent to $3.97 billion on sharp increases in air and ocean container traffic resulting from the global economic recovery and the signing of contracts with "important" new customers.
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