ATLANTA, Ga.– UPS has reported in its first quarter results that its International Daily Volume jumped 7.9% on strong Europe growth. E-commerce has driven robust demand in the US. for lightweight solutions, the company noted.
Weather also impacted UPS’ results in the quarter.
The company said “unusually harsh weather weighed on operating profit by approximately $200 million, due to increased expenses and slower revenue growth.”
“Much of the U.S. economy was negatively affected by the severe weather conditions in the first quarter, resulting in lower UPS operating results versus the prior year,” said Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO. “International and the Supply Chain and Freight segment benefitted from positive momentum during the quarter as customers utilized the strategic investments made by UPS to strengthen our portfolio.”
Revenue per package declined 1.5% from the previous year due to changes in customer and product mix, as well as lower fuel surcharges. Product mix continues to be impacted by the rapid increase of UPS SurePost. More e-commerce retailers are choosing this product to serve their value-conscious customers, UPS noted in a release.
Export shipments climbed 7.7% driven by 15% growth in Europe and modest gains in Asia and the Americas. Transborder shipments in Europe continue to expand rapidly as customers migrate to Pan-European distribution using UPS solutions.
To support strong Intra-European growth and intercontinental trade, the company announced the completed expansion of its Cologne, Germany, air hub. This $200 million investment increased facility capacity by 70%, said UPS.
Non-U.S. Domestic deliveries increased 8.1%, driven by growth in Europe and Canada. Poland led the European countries with more than 20% growth, while Germany and the U.K. contributed strong gains.
Gains from retail and healthcare customers drove higher revenue growth in the Distribution business unit. Operating profit improved more than 10% despite additional expansion costs during the quarter.
UPS Freight revenue increased slightly on a 3.1% increase in LTL revenue per hundredweight. Both tonnage and operating profit were negatively impacted by the severe winter weather.
“During the quarter, the momentum of the underlying business was masked by the disruption of inclement weather,” said Kurt Kuehn, UPS chief financial officer. “We are encouraged by the positive trends in our business and expect the remainder of the year to perform as we originally guided. However, due to the challenging start to 2014, we anticipate diluted earnings per share to be at the low end of our full-year guidance range of $5.05 to $5.30.”