Deutsche Post CEO sees short recession, Asia expansion

December 11, 2008

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Deutsche Post chief executive Frank Appel said on Wednesday the firm will continue its Asian expansion and keep job cuts to a minimum outside the United States as it expects a short but sharp global recession.

“We are pretty confident that the recession will be deep but pretty short,” he said, predicting business and consumer confidence can recover as quickly as it had disappeared in recent weeks. “We don’t have to cut too many jobs.”
Appel said that Deutsche Post’s DHL unit, Europe’s largest express courier company, had invested around $2 billion in Asia in recent years, and “we will see similar numbers in coming years”.
DHL last month said it will halt U.S. domestic services and cut 9,500 jobs after failing to gain share in a market dominated by United Parcel Service and FedEx Corp.
FedEx on Monday warned that earnings for its fiscal year ending May 2009 will be lower than expected due to a global economic slump.
Appel, who spoke at a briefing on a global trade study commissioned by DHL, was more bullish about economic prospects, saying he expected the global economy to recover faster than most people thought.
According to the study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, trade between Asia and the West will shrink by about 4 percent in 2009 before recovering in 2010, recovering faster than cross-Atlantic traffic, which will likely remain in the doldrums until 2011.