Freight volume down 10.8%, freight forwarding giant DHL’s full-year 2020 results still strong

German logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL reported on Tuesday that its 2020 operating profit reached about $5.8 billion, up from initial estimates of $4.9-5.3 billion and largely in line with the company’s preliminary results disclosed in January.

DHL also forecast operating profit of about $6.6 billion for 2021, slightly higher than its initial forecast in January. DHL measures operating profit through earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), which is expected to exceed $7.1 billion in 2023.

The company said free cash flow in 2020 will be about $3 billion, well above its initial forecast of $2.4 billion. It expects to generate cumulative free cash flow of $8.9 billion to $10.1 billion between 2021 and 2023.

The company also launched a $1.2 billion share repurchase program and raised its annual dividend by 24 cents per share to $1.61 per share.

DHL’s logistics business, DHL Global Forwarding, saw a decline in global freight business in 2020, according to the company’s annual report. Overall, the company saw a 10% decrease in maritime container throughput in 2020. At the same time, both revenue and operating profit showed growth in the same period.

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