UPS reports Q4 2009 revenues down 2.5%

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Shipper UPS reported fourth-quarter 2009 revenues of $12.4 billion on February 2, a 2.5% drop year-over-year from the $12.7 billion earned during the same period of 2008. Its full-year 2009 revenue dropped 12% from 2008 to $45.3 billion. However, the company's operating profit jumped from $803 million in Q4 2008 to $1.26 billion for Q4 2009.

The Atlanta-based shipper also reported that its average daily volume was even year-over-year at about 17.3 million pieces, while its package volume rose 1.4% to 1.1 billion pieces during the fourth quarter. The company said it delivered an average of 15.1 million packages per day for all of 2009, down from 15.5 million for the year prior.

UPS expects average daily volume to increase in line with gross domestic product throughout the year, with ground volume improving more than air, according to Norman Black, director of global media services at UPS.

The company's international shipping volume outshined its domestic operation. International package revenue for Q4 2009 jumped 5.7% year-over-year from $2.64 billion to $2.79 billion, and international shipping operating profit increased 27.6% from $366 million for Q4 2008 to $467 million during Q4 2009.

For 2010, UPS expects export volume growth to outperform the market, Black added.

Domestic package revenue decreased 5.5% from nearly $8 billion in Q4 2008 to $7.55 billion for last year's fourth quarter. Operating profit for the business dropped 18% year-over-year from $932 million to $764 million.

UPS also said that global package volume exceeded 22 million pieces on eight days during the holiday season, and it surpassed 24 million packages on two of those days. On each day of the week before Christmas, package volume exceeded that of 2008, according to the company.

Kurt Keuhn, CFO of UPS, said in a statement that “the first quarter will be the most challenging of the year for UPS with profitability only slightly better than last year.” He added that the company will “substantially improve performance” this year.

Last October, UPS reported revenues of $11.2 billion for 2009's third quarter, a year-over-year decline of 14.9% from 2008's $13.1 billion. The shipper also saw its average volume per day drop 3.9% year-over-year for that quarter.

UPS' revenue declined 16.7% to $10.8 billion for the second quarter of 2009, down from about $13 billion a year prior.

For the first quarter of 2009, UPS reported revenues of $10.9 billion, down 13.7% from the same quarter in 2008.

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