Deutsche Post DHL is the world's biggest delivery and logistics provider with revenues of €63.3bn in 2019 and net profit of €2.6bn. Unlike any of its rivals it offers traditional postal services and international freight forwarding as well as courier delivery. Its twin brands comprise the national mail carrier for Europe's biggest economy, as well as the worldwide DHL logistics supplier, and it has steadily expanded its footprint through acquisitions. In 2016, for example, it acquired UK competitor UKMail. Within Germany alone it carries around 55m letters and 5.2m parcels per working day, equivalent to around 62% of the local market, and also offers electronic communications (E-Post), home shopping (Allyouneed.com) and direct marketing services. Its DHL unit is the leading express logistics supplier in Europe, with 44% share in 2016 (ahead of UPS on 24%), and in Asia (49% share to FedEx's 19%); but ranks third in the Americas behind its two US-based rivals. It is also one of the two leaders in global freight forwarding by air, road and ocean. Deutsche Post's domestic post and ecommerce operations account for 30% of group revenues; DHL's express, supply chain and freight forwarding contribute the remainder. Frank Appel is CEO. Originally an American company, DHL actually predates its main rivals as an international overnight courier. It was founded in San Francisco in 1969 by three American businessmen (whose initials provided the company's name). At the time UPS and FedEx focused exclusively on the domestic market, but DHL initiated the concept of international courier services by air. Previously part of the German government's telecoms & postal services department, Deutsche Post was established as a standalone company under state control in 1995 and it began acquiring shares in DHL in 1998, eventually taking majority control in 2002 following its own public offering. A third division, Postbank retail bank, was sold to Deutsche Bank in several stages between 2008 and 2012. One of the less widely known subsidiaries of Deutsche Post DHL was print services group Williams Lea, together with its marketing services arm Tag Worldwide. That business was sold in 2017 to private equity firm Advent International. Deutsche Post DHL is still indirectly controlled by the German state via the KfW banking group, which retains a 21% stake.
Capsule checked 12th June 2020
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Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Feb 2018: In an almost inconceivable screw-up by a major foodservice operator, hundreds of Yum Brands' 900 KFC outlets in the UK have been closed since Saturday because they have run out of chicken. The cause was Yum's decision, on grounds of cost, to move the chain's delivery contract from hospitality specialist Bidvest to Deutsche Post's DHL service, which has been attempting to manage all logistics from a single central distribution centre. At the peak of the crisis on Sunday, more than two-thirds of KFC restaurants - almost 650 outlets - were closed. Even at 8pm on Wednesday - five days after the problems began - more than a fifth of stores remained shut. A similar situation plagued Burger King in the UK in 2012 when it too shifted its contract from Bidvest to DHL, but far fewer stores were affected.
Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Sep 2016: Deutsche Post, which also owns the international courier service DHL, strengthened its commitment to the UK delivery services market with the acquisition of struggling local company UK Mail for £243m. The UK is Europe's biggest e-commerce market, and the deal will also put Deutsche Post into direct competition with Royal Mail as one of only two companies with a national franchise to manage bulk delivery of letters, such as bank statements and utility bills.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Apr 2015: Delivery giant FedEx is to expand its presence in Europe with the acquisition of regional rival TNT Express for €4.4bn. The Dutch group is currently controlled by the Netherlands's main postal services supplier PostNL via a minority stake. An attempt by FedEx's US rival UPS to buy the business two years ago for €5.2bn was blocked by regulators on competition grounds, because UPS already had a significant presence in Europe. However, FedEx is much less established in the region and says it does not expect any such regulatory problems. TNT has around 12% share of regional deliveries, according to ING, more than double FedEx's 5%. The merger would catapult the combined business into second place ahead of UPS, which has 16%. Market leader DHL commands 19% share. [UPDATE: The deal was subsequently blocked by regulators]
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