Resilient business model: DHL Group achieves annual targets for 2023 in a weak global economic environment

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Group revenue of EUR 81.8 billion and EBIT of EUR 6.3 billion significantly above pre-pandemic levels.

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06/03/2024 |
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After a record year in 2022, DHL Group achieved a revenue of EUR 81.8 billion in the financial year of 2023 (2022: EUR 94.4 billion) and an operating result (EBIT) of EUR 6.3 billion (2022: EUR 8.4 billion). Even in the absence of a significant recovery in the global economy, DHL Group met its earnings forecast of at least EUR 6.2 billion. At EUR 3.3 billion (2022: EUR 4.6 billion), free cash flow excluding net M&A was significantly above the 2023 forecast of EUR 3 billion. With EBIT and free cash flow well above the figures for the pre-pandemic year 2019, the Group demonstrated its increased earning capacity even in a persistently soft market environment.

“The year 2023 was characterized by a weak global economy and, above all, weak global trade. Even under these conditions, we achieved our targets for the year. Our high profitability allows us to continuously invest in our network, sustainability, digitalization and our e-commerce capabilities and to further improve quality for our customers. Major uncertainty factors such as volatility in demand and geopolitical crises will remain with us in 2024. However, we are very well positioned for the opportunities and challenges of 2024.” Tobias Meyer, Chief Executive Officer DHL Group.

Thanks to its comprehensive portfolio of logistics services, the Group was able to partially offset the weak economic conditions. Volumes in the DHL Express business declined for the second year in a row, albeit less pronounced than the market average. DHL Global Forwarding, Freight faced headwinds from lower freight volumes and the expected normalization of freight rates. DHL Supply Chain’s business on the other hand has grown. DHL eCommerce and the German parcel business benefited from the intact structural trend in e-commerce. However, the results of the Post & Parcel Germany division reflect the detrimental regulatory environment for the German mail business.

The performance of DHL Group’s global logistics portfolio is also reflected in the cash flow development: at EUR 2.9 billion, free cash flow of DHL Group was at a high level (2022: EUR 3.1 billion) despite lower EBIT. The robust development of free cash flow also confirms that the established protection measures to safeguard earnings and cash flow are taking effect. The Group is successfully implementing price adjustments in unregulated product segments and a disciplined program to further improve the cost structure. 

In total, DHL Group generated consolidated net profit after non-controlling interests of EUR 3.7 billion in the financial year of 2023 (2022: EUR 5.4 billion). Basic earnings per share in the same period amounted to EUR 3.09, compared to EUR 4.41 in the previous year.

The complete report is available hereafter.

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