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  March 29th, 2022 | Written by

DHL breaks records in bumper year

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DHL has reported a 22.5% rise in revenue to €81,747m for 2021. The Group has characterised its results as being “on another level,” with new records set in revenue, earnings and a company that is “more profitable than ever”.

At €8bn, operating profit is up 65% year-on-year while the revenue figure is the highest in the company’s history. According to DHL, “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 utilisation of network capacities.”

At a segment level, DHL’s results are strong. At 6%, revenue growth in the Post & Parcel Germany division might well have been the headline in a pre-Covid world. But in 2021, it is far outstripped by double-digit growth elsewhere. Supply Chain (+10.5%), eCommerce Solutions (+22.8%), Express (+26.6%) and Global Forwarding, Freight (+44.4%) all saw top-line growth explode, “driven by the significant increase in global trade and continued strong e-commerce with further growth in shipment volumes,” according to DHL.

Post & Parcel Germany saw record volumes of 1.8bn parcels, up from 1.6bn in 2020, which drove revenue growth. In eCommerce Solutions, double-digit growth was recorded in “almost all” regions, pushing profitability to more than double to €417m. Express saw revenue jump from €19.1bn in 2020 to €24.2bn, as TDI volumes rose 10.3% and average shipment weights were also higher. The operations in Global Forwarding, Freight resulted in revenues that totalled €22.8bn. Air and sea volumes were up 25.7% and 8.7% respectively, and with high demand driving rates higher, profitability grew as EBIT more than doubled to €1.3bn. CEO Frank Appel stated “2021 was an extraordinary year…E-commerce has continued to grow, and global trade has recovered very quickly. We profitably transported record volumes of freight, express shipments, parcels and operated more efficiently than ever before.”

Perhaps though, it’s DHL’s view of the future that matters most. Throughout its reporting, it’s clear that DHL expects 2021 results to represent a base, not a peak. Presenting the results, CFO Melanie Kreis stated “As reflected in the newly-issued 2022 and 2024 guidance, DPDHL Group is confident to hold and grow earnings from this new level.” Investment lies ahead too with plans to spend €4.2bn across the business. Eleven new aircraft will enter service in 2022, with a further six to follow. DHL Express has plans to “modernise and expand” its German network with warehouse automation and spending towards carbon neutrality also on the agenda. With a strong set of results, DHL plans to take advantage of the rising tide.