DHL Global Forwarding saw revenues and operating profits increase in the third quarter, despite a decline in airfreight volumes.
The forwarder reported a 0.9% year-on-year increase in revenues to €3.7bn and earnings before interest and tax improved by 17% to €124m.
Looking at its airfreight business, volumes for the third quarter were down 5.1% year on year to 502,000 tonnes, revenues slipped by 4.7% to €1.1bn and gross profit climbed 2.1% to €238m.
Currency gains helped boost performance, the company said.
The decline in volumes mirrors current market conditions, although it performed better than rival Kuehne+Nagel which reported a 7.5% decline.
“As in the second quarter, the global air freight market remained weak,” the company said. “Global Forwarding, Freight nonetheless succeeded in markedly improving profitability thanks to the consistent implementation of cost-efficiency measures.”
The improved profitability would also have been helped by the usual lag when it comes to carrier rate decreases making it through to the customer.
The wider Deutsche Post DHL business saw third-quarter revenues increase by 4.7% on last year to €15.5bn while ebit reached €942m from €376m last year, with the prior-year figure being impacted by non-recurring expenses of €392m at Post & Parcel Germany.
Frank Appel, chief executive of Deutsche Post DHL Group, said: “We had a very good third quarter. All five divisions performed well despite the challenging global economic environment.
“Thanks to our broad portfolio and the market-leading position of our divisions, we are growing even in uncertain times. For the fourth quarter, we anticipate a traditionally strong holiday season.”
The company also said that during the third quarter the express division added two more B777Fs into service.