- Performance driven by DHL divisions: Group revenue reaches EUR 94.4 billion and EBIT increases by 6 percent to EUR 8.4 billion
- Free cash flow (excl. net M&A) exceeds expectations at EUR 4.6 billion
- Dividend increase to EUR 1.85 per share proposed; share buyback program increased by EUR 1.0 billion
- 2023 EBIT guidance covers three scenarios and ranges from EUR 6.0 billion to EUR 7.0 billion, 2025 EBIT target of more than EUR 8.0 billion
- Sustainability: Group attains all non-financial targets
- CEO Frank Appel: "We have once again demonstrated our Group's capability of surmounting challenging environments and look ahead in the best shape ever."
Deutsche Post DHL Group, the world's leading logistics company, once again grew profitably in the past financial year. With revenue of EUR 94.4 billion, the Group exceeded its record from previous year by 15.5 percent. The jump in revenue resulted entirely from the international business of the DHL divisions, despite the fact that global trade and e-commerce normalized in 2022 as expected with slowing momentum in the final quarter. Consequently, shipment volumes were slightly below the all-time high of 2021. Thanks to flexible structures, the Group was nevertheless able to continue utilizing its global networks efficiently throughout the year. The company also benefited from the increasing demand for resilient supply chains in contract logistics and, particularly in the first half of the year, from high freight rates in the forwarding business. Overall, Deutsche Post DHL Group achieved a new record with operating profit (EBIT) of EUR 8.4 billion (2021: EUR 8.0 billion). The key driver was the positive earnings development in the internationally operating DHL divisions, which generated EBIT of around EUR 7.6 billion (2021: EUR 6.6 billion). With EUR 1.3 billion, EBIT of Post & Parcel Germany declined by around EUR 500 million compared with the prior-year result. The Group-wide EBIT margin was 8.9 percent (2021: 9.8 percent).
"We have demonstrated resilience and innovation capability in a challenging environment. Our course and strategy remain well on track. Once again, our thanks go to our employees for their extraordinary commitment in a challenging year," said Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group.
Group invests more than ever before and exceeds free cash flow guidance
Last year, Deutsche Post DHL Group invested a record sum of EUR 4.1 billion (2021: EUR 3.9 billion) in its operating business as well as in digitalization and sustainability. The Group made progress in expanding its electric vehicles fleet, which grew by 7,000 to more than 29,000 e-vehicles worldwide. Further investments were made to modernize the Express division's aircraft fleet and to build new CO2-neutral delivery bases in Germany. Investments were also made in sorting capacities and e-fulfillment solutions for the growing e-commerce business. There was an increase in efficiency due to investments in additional automation solutions.
Excluding acquisitions, free cash flow reached a new all-time high at EUR 4.6 billion (2021: EUR 4.1 billion). Free cash flow was therefore above the most recent expectation of EUR 4.2 billion and exceeded the guidance initially provided in March 2022 by around EUR 1.0 billion. Free cash flow including acquisitions and divestments amounted to EUR 3.1 billion. Payments for acquisitions and divestments totaling EUR 1.5 billion (2021: EUR 0.0 billion) focused primarily on the acquisition of the ocean freight specialist Hillebrand, whose subsidiaries were seamlessly integrated into the DHL Global Forwarding, Freight division.
The exceptionally good result is also reflected in higher net income. Deutsche Post DHL Group increased its net profit after non-controlling interests to EUR 5.4 billion (2021: EUR 5.1 billion). Basic earnings per share thus amounted to EUR 4.41 (2021: EUR 4.10).
Dividend proposal increased; share buyback program expanded
Against the background of the positive earnings development, the Board of Management and Supervisory Board will propose to the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on May 4, 2023 an increase of the dividend to EUR 1.85 per share (2022: EUR 1.80 per share). Subject to approval by the shareholders, the Group would thus pay out a total amount of EUR 2.2 billion. Based on the dividend proposal, the payout ratio would be 41 percent and within the target corridor of 40 to 60 percent.
The existing share buyback program 2022-24 will be increased by EUR 1.0 billion. The total volume now amounts to EUR 3.0 billion. There is no change in the intention to conclude the program until the end of 2024.
"With the fundamental improvement in earnings in recent years, we have raised our financial strength to a much higher level. This strengthened starting point creates the financial leeway to continue investing in our core business and to position our company as an attractive investment," said CFO Melanie Kreis.
Source: Deutsche Post DHL Group