Dr Frank Appel
Chief Executive Officer
25 February 2009
One year into my chairmanship of the Board of Management, the Group has carved out a clear path for continued success. We have initiated steps to sell Postbank and to restructure the US express business, consistently implemented the Roadmap to Value and prepared ourselves for the impacts of the global economic crisis.
For Postbank, we have found the perfect partner in Deutsche Bank. Our thorough analyses and sound decision-making processes have paid off, and we established attractive conditions for the transaction despite the difficult market climate.
The second decision of great consequence concerned our US express business. In May, we began to restructure the business from the ground up in order to minimise losses that were no longer acceptable. Nevertheless, the weak US economy and declining shipment volumes have since then forced us to take even more drastic measures. In November, we decided to focus our express business in the US on our international offering and to exit the domestic business. This was certainly one of the most difficult decisions I have had to take in my management career to date.
The current economic crisis has taught us that we must do more to safeguard the future of our Group. With our Roadmap to Value capital markets programme, we are already well underway. As a result of the programme’s initiatives, we have achieved encouraging growth rates in the emerging economies, cut costs and made operational improvements. We increased our reporting transparency by now reporting the logistics business units separately and our financial position is stable. Net cash from operating activities increased significantly, whilst working capital declined.
Thanks to these efforts, we have met our adjusted target for the period. Earnings from operating activities before non-recurring items (excluding Postbank) were just above our target of €2.4 billion. However, non-recurring items impacted our earnings. The repayment from the German government awarded as a result of the state aid proceedings boosted earnings, whilst the restructuring costs for the US express business and a write-down on the goodwill of SUPPLY CHAIN/CIS undermined our bottom line. Adjusted for non-recurring items, we are reporting a loss. EBIT (excluding Postbank) declined to € –567 million; the Group generated a consolidated net loss for the period of €1.98 billion.