UPS profit grows 8.6 percent in 2006

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United Parcel Service Inc. got a big boost from its international business and set a new record for package volume in 2006.

UPS the Atlanta-based shipping company, posted net income of $4.2 billion on $47.5 billion in revenue, compared with net income of $3.9 billion on $42.6 billion in revenue in 2005.

The company's international business operating profit jumped 14.5 percent to $1.7 billion in 2006. UPS also set a new record for package volume last year, delivering almost 4 billion packages for an average of 15.6 million per day.

The fourth quarter also produced solid earnings growth despite a slowing U.S. economy.

In the fourth quarter, UPS had net income of $1.1 billion on $12.6 billion in revenue, compared with net income of $1 billion on $12 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2005. Average daily package volume rose 3.3 percent, or 558,000 additional packages each day.

Ground volume posted a healthy 3.6 percent increase in the quarter. Next Day Air volume declined marginally and deferred volume was flat against strong prior-year results.

During its holiday peak season the company had more than 22 million deliveries on two days. Package delivery volume exceeded 20 million a day on seven days during the 2006 peak compared to five days the prior year.

As for 2007, UPS said it anticipates another good year in its global small package business. It also expects its Supply Chain and Freight segment to gain momentum as the year progresses.

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