Overseas Business Boosts Q4 Profit At UPS

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United Parcel Service announced a rise in fourth-quarter profit yesterday as its overseas business offset U.S. results.

The company had Q4 net income of $670 million on $8.3 billion in revenue, compared with net income of $645 million on $8 billion in revenue for fourth-quarter 2001. The quarter ended Dec. 31, 2002.

In the international segment, revenue rose 17 percent in the fourth quarter to $1.3 billion from the $1.1 billion reported during that period in 2001. Including non-recurring items, international operating profit totaled $165 million. Excluding non-recurring items, operating profit jumped 133 percent to $154 million from $66 million the prior year. Export volume climbed 13 percent in Europe and 24 percent in Asia.

U.S. domestic package operations had a 1.3 percent volume decline in the quarter. Revenue totaled $6.22 billion for the fourth quarter, essentially flat compared with $6.23 billion a year ago. Including non-recurring items, operating profit was $1 billion. Excluding non-recurring items, operating profit declined 9.1 percent to $831 million from the $914 million reported in 2001.

"Within the U.S., the holiday peak season started slowly and then surged at the end," said Scott Davis, UPS chief financial officer.

Davis said that on the international front, "the fourth quarter was our second consecutive record quarter. Our expanded network in Asia, coupled with increased service through more than 100 additional Asian flights during the West Coast dock disruption, contributed substantially. In addition, the European export market continued to demonstrate significant double-digit growth."

Though the company expects its volume growth momentum to improve as 2003 unfolds, volume in the first quarter likely will be flat compared with 2002.

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