UAE this year's star performer for DHL

The UAE is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world this year for DHL Express, a global parcel delivery company with revenues of up to €11 billion a year.
Ken Allen, the chief executive for DHL Express, in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National
Ken Allen, the chief executive for DHL Express, in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National

The UAE is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world this year for DHL Express, a global parcel delivery company with revenues of up to €11 billion (Dh49.5bn) a year.

Ken Allen, the chief executive for DHL Express, said growth in retail, travel and logistics across the UAE meant the country had become a "star performer" this year.

"If you said to us, 'Just based on your figures alone, how do you think the UAE is doing?' we would say it is one of the better economies in the world," said Mr Allen.

"The wider region is growing as well but the UAE is the star performer."

Deutsche Post DHL, the German parent company of DHL Express, yesterday reported solid first-half profits and raised its outlook for the year based on demand from Asia. Net profits increased to €734 million (Dh3.3 billion) from €603m in the same period last year.

Revenue from the DHL Express division in the Middle East and Africa increased by 16.7 per cent to €482m, helped by positive foreign exchange movements to the tune of €25m.

Mr Allen said business in Europe was still strong despite the doom and gloom surrounding the euro-zone markets.

"The Middle East is still growing at mid double-digit figures and even in the rest of the world - Europe is a good example - we haven't seen yet any noticeable drop off in volume," he said.

"If I just looked at my volume figures I wouldn't know that there's a looming crisis around the corner. Having said that, I watch my volume figures every day because nobody knows what could happen."

Mr Allen said DHL was the biggest player in the Middle East with about 40 per cent market share.

The company has a network of offices, facilities and transport spanning more than 220 countries and provides courier and express delivery services to 600,000 customers each day.

The worldwide economic crisis from 2008 harshly affected logistics firms as companies reined in trading globally.

And the outlook is also not yet clear after the IMF said this month an economic recovery was still at risk and euro-zone economies remained fragile.

The IMF downgraded its forecast for global growth next year to 3.9 per cent from a 4.1 per cent prediction made in April.

"We had a rough period a couple of years ago but now we're back on track," said Mr Allen.

"Everybody is trying to go to where the growth and the money is, which is the Middle East, Africa is doing very well, and Asia."

DHL Express increased revenues by 10.3 per cent in the first half of the year to €6.2bn from €5.6bn for the same time last year.

Revenues at Deutsche Post DHL as a whole swelled from €25.6bn to €27bn in the first half.

"In the second quarter, revenue grew stronger than in the previous quarter, due in particular to the very dynamic performance of the DHL divisions," the company said.

"They are also benefiting from the positive economic trend in the Asian markets."

rjones@thenational.ae

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Published: August 3, 2012 04:00 AM

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