UPS Inc. raised net income on an adjusted basis by 23% to $1.41 billion, or $1.57 per share, in the fourth quarter, drawing strength from online retailing and other package business.
The Atlanta-based company’s earnings improved as revenue rose just 1% to $16.1 billion. When one-time charges and gains were included, net income almost tripled.
In the domestic package sector, the company said “strong demand from e-commerce shippers contributed to a 2.4% increase in average daily shipments” as the company delivered packages to 1.9 million new addresses. Domestic revenue was 2.6% higher at $10.3 million. held down by lower fuel-surcharge collections. Profit before interest and taxes rose 18% to $1.34 billion, with a 2.6% rise in revenue to $19.3 billion.
“This year’s results build on our multiyear strategy to deliver improved shareowner value,” said David Abney, CEO of UPS, which ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers. “Our flexible integrated network, close collaboration with customers and the extraordinary efforts of UPSers enabled us to achieve great service and record financial performance this quarter.”
On the international front, profits improved 16%, helped by operational improvements, a strong performance in Europe and enhanced pricing. Revenue in that segment fell 7.3% to $3.18 billion.
The supply chain and freight unit’s profitability increased 11% to $199 million. Revenue was 6% higher at $2.6 billion.
Logistics revenue growth offset softer freight markets, the company said. Airfreight and freight forwarding also improved at the unit, whose revenue rose 6% to $2.61 billion. Results from UPS Freight softened, with revenue down 12.2% to $679 million, reflecting a 9.7% drop in shipments.