UPS delivers a surprisingly high profit package

PARCEL delivery firm UPS surprised markets by delivering almost a 50 per cent jump in its 2010 operating profit yesterday.

UPS generated $5.8bn (£3.65bn) full-year adjusted operating profit, a 47 per cent jump on 2009, while full-year revenues rose 9.4 per cent to $49.5bn as the company delivered 3.9bn packages over the year.

The results were boosted by an exceptional final quarter. UPS delivered 1.1m packages amid strong demand for festive and online shopping.

Fourth-quarter adjusted operating profit rose to $1.08 per share, up 44 per cent from a year ago and topping the $1.05 per share expected by analysts. The gain was three cents-per-share more when factoring in a gain from the sale of a logistics unit. Revenue rose to $13.42bn from $12.38bn in the quarter.

Chief financial officer Kurt Kuehn added 2011 earnings per share are expected to go up by 16-22 per cent.