As goodwill is no longer amortized (in accordance with IFRS 3), EBIT rather than EBITA is our main earnings figure as of this year. For the year under review, the profit from operating activities (EBIT) amounted to €3,755 million, an improvement of 25.1% over the previous year’s figure of €3,001 million.
In 2005, net income from associates rose from €4 million to €71 million. This includes a gain on the disposal of trans-o-flex Schnell-Lieferdienst GmbH (trans-o-flex) and France Handling S.A. Net other finance costs fell by €52 million from €825 million to €773 million. This is primarily as a result of the drop in interest expenses on discounted provisions, although this was offset by the obligation to pay interest amounting to €112 million on the above-mentioned tax arrears. Overall, the net finance costs therefore improved considerably by €119 million.
The profit from ordinary activities improved by 40.0% to €3,053 million (previous year: €2,180 million). Income tax expense amounted to €605 million (previous year: €440 million). At 19.8%, the tax rate remained almost unchanged as against the previous year (20.2%).
Minorities increased by €71 million from €142 million to €213 million. As a result of the Postbank IPO in June 2004, the minorities included Postbank for only seven months in the previous year.
Consolidated net profit up 40%
The development described above resulted in a consolidated net profit for the year excluding minorities of €2,235 million, an increase of 40.0% on the previous year’s figure of €1,598 million. This results in earnings per share of €1.99 compared with €1.44 in the previous year.
We will propose the payment of a dividend per share of €0.70 to the Annual General Meeting on May 10, 2006. This represents an increase of 40.0%.