Deutsche Post DHL Group closes 2021 with record earnings

Group revenue was up 22.5 percent year on year to EUR 81.7 billion; record earnings of EUR 8.0 billion, the Group was thus more profitable than ever before.

  • Profitable growth course continued in all divisions: Group revenue rises to EUR 81.7 billion in financial year 2021
  • Operating profit reached EUR 8.0 billion, improving by 65 percent
  • Free cash flow almost doubled to EUR 4.1 billion
  • Increase in dividend to EUR 1.80 per share proposed; new share buyback program amounting up to EUR 2 billion initiated
  • CEO Frank Appel: "In a challenging year, we achieved the best performance in the company's history."

Deutsche Post DHL Group, the world's leading logistics company, delivered profitable growth during the past financial year. Group revenue was up 22.5 percent year on year to EUR 81.7 billion. 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 EUR 8.0 billion (2020: EUR 4.8 billion) and an EBIT margin of 9.8 percent (2020: 7.3 percent). The Group was thus more profitable than ever before.

"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.

Guidance for 2022: profitable growth course expected to continue

For financial year 2022, the Group expects EBIT of 8.0 billion (+ / - 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.

"Our guidance does not include the impact of the conflict in Eastern Europe on global GDP growth and the world's transportation markets, which is currently difficult to assess. Our priority now is to help the people in the war zone, to ensure the safety of all our employees and to keep global supply chains operating", said Frank Appel.

High investments in digitization and sustainability

The Group invested a record sum of EUR 3.9 billion (2020: EUR 3.0 billion) 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. Deutsche Post DHL Group made good progress in cash generation again in 2021. Free cash flow improved significantly to EUR 4.1 billion (2020: EUR 2.5 billion) despite higher gross capex.

Without taking into account acquisitions, like the planned take-over of Hillebrand, the company expects free cash flow of EUR 3.6 billion (+ / - 5 percent) and gross capital expenditure of around EUR 4.2 billion for 2022. These investments will continue to focus on the expansion of transport and sorting capacities for the further increase in shipment volumes as well as the further implementation of the digital transformation.

Medium-term targets published: further EBIT growth forecast through 2024

With the presentation of the Annual Report, the Group communicated its mid-term financial targets through 2024. EBIT is expected to increase to around EUR 8.5 billion in 2024. Without taking into account acquisitions, like the planned take-over of Hillebrand, the Group expects to generate cumulative free cash flow of around EUR 11 billion in the period between 2022 and 2024. Over the same period, the company anticipates cumulative gross capital expenditure (capex) of around EUR 12 billion.

"I am very pleased that we were able to close the third consecutive financial year with record results. We have fundamentally improved the Group's financial strength with a massive leap in growth across all financial dimensions. This strengthens our ability to pay dividends and creates opportunities for the use of excess free cash flow", said CFO Melanie Kreis.

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Source: Deutsche Post DHL Group

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