However, the postage increases at the beginning of the year, booming internet trade and the flourishing international express business ensured at least a slight increase in sales for the group.
The group has made a "solid start to the year" in view of the economic turbulence, group ceo frank appel stressed in the quarterly report presented on tuesday.
Overall, revenue rose by 0.6 percent between january and march to 13.4 billion euros. By way of comparison: in 2012 as a whole, the group had still managed to achieve growth of more than 5 percent. Thanks to strict cost management, the company nevertheless succeeded in increasing its operating result (ebit) by 2.9 percent to 711 million euros in the first quarter.
At 498 million euros, consolidated net profit was 5.9 percent lower than in the first quarter of 2012. However, the previous year’s result had been inflated by one-time effects from the sale of the postbank, the post emphasized. Adjusted net profit 45 percent up on previous year.
In germany, the group benefited from the postage increase that came into effect at the beginning of the year and the internet boom, which ensured continued strong volume and revenue growth in the parcel business.
This more than compensated for the continuing downturn in the classic letter business. E-commerce growth will continue for the next five to seven years, post predicts.
In the international express business, the group benefited from its strong market position in the dynamic growth regions of asia. The freight forwarding business, on the other hand, suffered from the weak economy. Air freight sales in particular were sluggish.
The group reaffirmed its profit forecast for the full year and expects earnings before interest and taxes to continue to rise unchanged to between 2.7 and 2.95 billion euros. Appel also remains confident about the company’s prospects beyond the current year.