DP DHL closes 2021 with record earnings

Deutsche Post DHL Group (DP DHL) delivered profitable growth during the past financial year. Group revenue was up 22.5% year on year to €81.7bn. That is the highest revenue figure in the Group’s history. All five business units contributed to record business performance. Demand for the Group’s logistics solutions reached a new all-time high last year, driven by the significant increase in global trade and continued strong e-commerce with further growth in shipment volumes. That in turn enabled the more efficient utilization of network capacities. The rapid pace of development led to record earnings of €8.0bn, up 64.6% compared to 2020 and an EBIT margin of 9.8% (2020: 7.3%). The Group was thus more profitable than ever before.

The Express division saw an extremely positive revenue and earnings trend in 2021. EBIT increased by 53.4% to €4.2bn. At €24.2bn (2020: €19.1bn), revenue was significantly higher than in the previous year. This performance was driven by growth in time-definite international express (TDI) shipments of 10.3% and an increase in average weight per shipment. Network capacity utilization remained consistently high throughout the year, further improving the efficiency of shipment handling in the global network. Once more this led to an increase in profitability. Express posted a record EBIT margin of 17.4% (2020: 14.4%).

The Global Forwarding, Freight (GFF) division was extremely successful in overcoming the persistently challenging conditions in the international transport markets. EBIT more than doubled to €1.3bn (2020: €0.6bn), while revenue increased sharply to €22.8bn (2020: €15.8 bn). Transport capacities remained sharply reduced, while demand was significantly higher in 2021, driven by the recovery of global trade. This led to a corresponding price and margin trend fueled by the competition for available transport capacity. Thanks to its international network, GFF was able to provide its customers with the access they required. Air and ocean freight volumes increased by 25.7% and 8.7%, respectively. Road freight shipment volumes also grew by 7.8%. The division’s EBIT margin improved to 5.7% (2020: 3.7%).

The Supply Chain division posted a significant jump in earnings to €705m (2020: €424m) based on an increase in revenue to €13.9bn (2020: €12.5bn) and continued efficiency improvements. The division successfully scaled its standardized business model thanks to significant new business. Supply Chain strengthened its position in e-commerce through the continued development of special e- fulfillment sites dedicated to solutions in the area of online order processing. The EBIT margin increased to 5.1% (2020: 3.4%) thanks to targeted digitization and automation projects as well as successful cost management.

The eCommerce Solutions division more than doubled its earnings in 2021. EBIT came in at €417m (2020: €158m), driven by the rapid pace of growth for shipment volumes in e-commerce. Almost all regions posted double-digit growth rates, with particularly strong volume development in the Netherlands and India. Shipment volumes in cross-border transport in Europe also increased, by 21.6%. The unabated strong growth in the international parcel businesses made it possible to utilize its networks more efficiently. After achieving a positive EBIT margin for the first time in the previous year, the division recorded a remarkable 7.0% margin in 2021 (2020: 3.3%).

The Post & Parcel Germany division successfully increased earnings and revenue, with EBIT up significantly to €1.75bn (2020:€1.6bn). Post & Parcel Germany transported a record volume of more than 1.8bn parcels in 2021 (2020: 1.6bn parcels). As a result, revenue developed positively, increasing to €17.4bn (2020: €16.5bn), with volumes at Post Germany remaining virtually unchanged at 14.2bn letters. At 10.0% (2020: 9.7%), the EBIT margin was on a comparable level to the prior-year.

“We have demonstrated our full strength in demanding times and achieved a new revenue and earnings record. Never before has Deutsche Post DHL Group transported so much freight, express shipments and parcels worldwide. We also make an important contribution to society through vaccine logistics. A big thank you goes to our employees for their extraordinary commitment in a challenging year”, said Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group.

The Group invested a record sum of €3.9bn (2020: €3.0bn) in its business, digitalization and sustainability in 2021. Most of this gross capex went into modernizing the Express division’s aircraft fleet and expanding the domestic and international parcel infrastructure to ensure the efficient handling of significantly higher transport demand.

For financial year 2022, the Group expects EBIT of €8.0bn (+ / – 5 percent). The guidance is based on the assumption that e-commerce will maintain its strength and continue its structural growth after a phase of normalization. Following the dynamic recovery in global trade over the course of 2021, growth in global logistics activities will likely continue, although at a slower pace. Intercontinental transport capacity is expected to ease earliest in the second half of 2022.

Source: DP DHL