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DHL Group gets off to a solid start in 2024

05/07/2024, 07:00 AM CEST

Group revenue in the first quarter of 2024 almost stable at EUR 20.3 billion; operating profit (EBIT) of EUR 1.3 billion as expected below previous year’s level, but above pre-pandemic level.

The Group's headquarters
  • Group revenue in the first quarter of 2024 almost stable at EUR 20.3 billion (Q1 2023: EUR 20.9 billion)
  • Operating profit (EBIT) of EUR 1.3 billion as expected below previous year’s level (Q1 2023: EUR 1.6 billion), but above pre-pandemic level (Q1 2019: EUR 1.2 billion)
  • Free cash flow of EUR 608 million (Q1 2023: EUR 983 million; Q1 2019: EUR -256 million)
  • Forecast for operating profit of between EUR 6.0 billion and EUR 6.6 billion confirmed
  • Tobias Meyer, CEO DHL Group: “Despite all the challenges, 2024 is a year of opportunities.” 

Bonn - The logistics company DHL Group got off to a solid start to the new fiscal year in 2024. As expected, there was no significant upturn in the global economy in the first quarter of 2024. Despite these conditions, the Group generated revenue of EUR 20.3 billion (Q1 2023: EUR 20.9 billion). As anticipated, the operating profit (EBIT) of EUR 1.3 billion was below the previous year’s level (Q1 2023: EUR 1.6 billion) but exceeded the same period of the pre-pandemic year 2019 (Q1 2019: EUR 1.2 billion).

"In 2024, our focus is on capitalising on our opportunities"

CFO Melanie Kreis assesses the results of the first quarter and talks about the expected upturn in global trade in the second half of 2024.

Investors' conference call

CFO Melanie Kreis explaines the Group results for the first quarter 2024.

Measures to safeguard earnings and cash flow show an impact

DHL Group had already anticipated the slowdown in global economic momentum in 2022 and successfully introduced appropriate measures to safeguard earnings and cash flow. These measures include consistent capacity and cost management as well as price adjustments. In the first quarter of 2024, gross investments (capex) amounted to EUR 483 million (Q1 2023: EUR 569 million).

The Group continued to make targeted investments in the quality of its services and in structural growth trends such as omnishoring, e-commerce, sustainability and digitalization. Free cash flow was EUR 608 million (Q1 2023: EUR 983 million; Q1 2019: EUR -256 million).

In total, DHL Group generated consolidated net profit after non-controlling interests of EUR 743 million in the first three months of 2024 (Q1 2023: EUR 911 million). In the same period, basic earnings per share amounted to EUR 0.63 after EUR 0.76 in the first quarter of 2023.

Group confirms forecast for 2024

As expected, a broad and dynamic economic upturn failed to materialize in the first three months of the year. DHL Group continues to expect more positive global economic momentum in the second half of 2024. Overall, the Group confirms its forecast for the 2024 fiscal year and expects EBIT of between EUR 6.0 billion and EUR 6.6 billion and free cash flow excluding acquisitions and divestments of around EUR 3.0 billion.

In its medium-term forecast for 2026, DHL Group continues to expect operating profit of between EUR 7.5 billion and EUR 8.5 billion.

Express: Continued focus on revenue and cost management

At Express, the expected continued weak demand led to a slight decline in shipment volumes. The division is countering the sluggish market environment with productivity improvements, network optimizations and effective yield and cost management.


Express Q1 2023 Q1 2024 YOY
Revenue (in EUR million) 6,281 6,006 −4.4(1)
EBIT (in EUR million) 903 632 −30.0(1)
EBIT-Marge (in percent) 14.4 10.5 −3.9(2)
(1) in percent
(2) in percentage points
   

Global Forwarding, Freight: Decline in revenue due to lower freight rates

The decline in revenue at Global Forwarding, Freight is primarily due to lower freight rates. The division once again recorded volume growth in air and ocean freight compared to the weak prior-year period. Air freight volumes rose by 5.1 percent, with the improvement primarily attributable to trade routes between Asia and Europe. Ocean freight volumes increased 6.6 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year, with the volume of trade routes from Asia increasing in particular.


Global Forwarding, Freight Q1 2023 Q1 2024 YOY
Revenue (in EUR million) 5,484 4,617 −15.8(1)
EBIT (in EUR million) 389 263 −32.4(1)
EBIT-Marge (in percent) 7.1 5.7 −1.4(2)
(1) in percent
(2) in percentage points
   

Supply Chain: Stable revenue and earnings growth

The Supply Chain division recorded revenue growth in all regions and across various sectors, supported by new business wins, contract renewals and growing e-commerce business. Additional contracts with a volume of EUR 3.5 billion were concluded in the first quarter of 2024. In addition to the energy, retail, life sciences and healthcare sectors, e-fulfillment solutions accounted for an important part of this. The annualized contract renewal rate remained at a consistently high level.


Supply Chain Q1 2023 Q1 2024 YOY
Revenue (in EUR million) 4,107 4,333 +5.5(1)
EBIT (in EUR million) 227 256 +12.8(1)
EBIT-Marge (in percent) 5.5 5.9 +0.4(2)
(1) in percent
(2) in percentage points
   

eCommerce: Revenue surpasses prior-year level

The eCommerce division maintained its revenue growth trend. The EBIT development in the first quarter primarily reflects higher costs due in part to the ongoing investments in the expansion of the networks.


eCommerce Q1 2023 Q1 2024 YOY
Revenue (in EUR million) 1,505 1,633 +8.5(1)
EBIT (in EUR million) 81 60 −25.9(1)
EBIT-Marge (in percent) 5.4 3.7 −1.7(2)
(1) in percent
(2) in percentage points
   

Post & Parcel Germany: Strong parcel business ensures revenue and earnings growth

Although the reporting period contains 1.6 fewer working days, Post & Parcel Germany registered an increase in revenue. The positive development was solely attributable to Parcel, while the postal business continued to decline as expected. Due to the parcel business, the division’s operating profit was significantly higher than in the same quarter of the previous year, which was burdened by additional staff costs due to the wage dispute. The regulated mail business continues to suffer from the regulatory framework.  


Post & Parcel Germany Q1 2023 Q1 2024 YOY
Revenue (in EUR million) 4,198 4,266 +1.6(1)
EBIT (in EUR million) 138 194 +40.6(1)
EBIT-Marge (in percent) 3.3 4.5 +1.2(2)
(1) in percent
(2) in percentage points
   

Daniel Gabel

Financial Communications, Global Business Services

DHL Group
Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 20
53113 Bonn
Germany