Europe, Asia Drive UPS Growth

Continued business expansion in Europe and Asia by United Parcel Service should contribute to an expected rise in profit of 10 percent to 15 percent for 2003, UPS chief financial officer Scott Davis said yesterday in an address to industry analysts in Cologne, Germany.

UPS hosted analysts and investors on a tour of facilities in Europe.

Executives also discussed global opportunities, including the acceleration of the company's Asian business. Revenue in China is projected to grow from $200 million to $300 million this year.

UPS also said that the addition of 10 countries to the European Union should continue to fuel business in Europe, where the shipper has enjoyed 25 consecutive quarters of double-digit export volume growth. Plus, the number of Mail Boxes Etc. units (now known as The UPS Store in most U.S. locations) is expected to more than double in Europe in the next 10 years to more than 1,400.

The meeting with analysts and investors in Europe was a first for UPS, which went public just three years ago. Europe is its largest market outside the United States, generating more than $2 billion in revenue in 2002. Export volume in Europe has grown more than 20 percent annually for the past six years.

While Europe is the largest international market for UPS, the company's expansion in Asia in recent years has ignited double-digit growth in that part of the world, including a 16 percent gain in export volume in the most recent quarter. Combined with the performance in Europe, UPS posted its best results ever in the international arena during the first quarter. Revenue rose more than 24 percent, and international profit more than quadrupled to $134 million from $30 million the prior year.

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