Deutsche Post DHL Group announced a positive performance in 2022, mainly driven by the growth in its international business amid tempered growth in other segments.
DHL recorded a €94.4 billion (US$100 billion) in revenue last year, exceeding its record from the previous year by 15.5%.
"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," the logistics giant said.
It noted, however, that shipment volumes were slightly below the all-time high of 2021.
DHL said its "flexible structures" allowed the Group to utilise 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, the DHL Group achieved a new record with an operating profit (EBIT) of €8.4 billion (2021: €8.0 billion).
The key driver, DHL noted, was the positive earnings development in the internationally operating DHL divisions, which generated EBIT of around €7.6 billion (2021: € 6.6 billion).
Meanwhile, the EBIT of Post & Parcel Germany declined by around EUR 500 million compared with the prior-year result.
"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.
In 2022, the Deutsche Post DHL Group said it invested a record sum of €4.1 billion (2021: €3.9 billion) in its operating business, 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.
DHL said investments were also made in sorting capacities and e-fulfilment solutions for the growing e-commerce business.
Moving forward, DHL said it expects further growth in the medium term.
Given the continuing uncertainty about the course of an economic recovery, the Group's 2023 EBIT guidance ranges from €6.0 billion to €7.0 billion.
"The slowing macroeconomic growth momentum is reflected in our EBIT outlook. That is why we are acting particularly prudent in the first half of 2023 and focusing on our yield and cost management," said Melanie Kreis, chief financial officer.
For 2023 the company foresees a gross capital expenditure in the range of €3.4 billion to €3.9 billion and predicts free cash flow of around €3.0 billion independent of the macroeconomic scenarios.
Investments will also continue to focus on organic growth, strengthening global networks and expanding the product range of climate-friendly transport solutions.
The Group expects to be able to increase EBIT relative to 2023 again. The EBIT target for 2025 is set to be more than €8 billion.
In 2022, DHL noted that the Group achieved all its non-financial targets, including on emissions.