The EXPRESS Division’s revenue increased by 3.1% to €13,874 million (restated prior-year figure: €13,463 million) even though business was impacted by negative currency effects (€507 million). Measured in local currencies, we attained organic revenue growth of 6.4%.
Revenue and volumes rise in Europe
In Europe, we achieved gains in both revenue and shipment volumes. Revenue increased by 3.8% to €6,624 million (previous year: €6,381 million); the underlying organic growth for the region reached 4.6%. The domestic business in Central Europe – including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria – generated the largest advances. We satisfactorily improved our international business in the Benelux countries. The other countries gave rise to moderate revenue growth of 3% to 7%. Exceptions were France and the UK, where revenues remained more or less unchanged year-on-year.
Economic climate hampers US business
Negative currency effects in the amount of €339 million were the main driver of the downturn in revenue in the Americas, which fell by 4.9% year-on-year, from €4,379 million to €4,165 million. In local currency, the organic growth rate was 2.9%. The most notable advance was achieved once again in our Latin American domestic business, especially in Mexico, where the rate reached 20%. Organic growth in the USA was positive at 0.6%. The enhanced performance of our Ground and International products was unable to make good the sharp decline in the Domestic Air business – a pattern which became apparent in the second half-year in particular as economic activity waned.
Double-digit revenue growth in Asia
Revenue in the Asia Pacific region climbed by 5.4% to €2,576 million (previous year: €2,443 million). As in America, changes in the euro exchange rate gave rise to negative currency effects, in this case in the amount of €102 million. Although the rate of growth in the region slowed, we posted organic revenue growth of 9.6%. The principal contributors were China and India.
Growth driven by emerging markets
In the EEMEA region, revenue increased by 29.9%, from €819 million in 2006 to €1,064 million. As in the prior year, the largest gains were recorded in this region, primarily in the Middle East and Russia.
Profit before extraordinary impairment loss on non-current assets in the Americas region increases by 46%
The impairment review conducted at the end of the year led to a €594 million write-down of the EXPRESS non-current assets in the Americas regions. This write-down has no cash impact. It cannot currently be excluded that further write-downs regarding additions to non-current assets might occur. Profit from operating activities (EBIT) before extraordinary impairment loss increased by 46%, from €288 million to €420 million, even after deducting expenses of €76 million for the construction of the new European in Leipzig. With one exception, all the regions improved their profitability. In the Americas region, operating business deteriorated as revenue stagnated and the demand shifted in favour of lower-margin products. The return on sales for the EXPRESS business climbed from 2.1% to 3% when measured before the extraordinary impairment loss on non-current assets in the Americas region.