25.09.2012 14:25
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Deutsche Post AG -- Moody's changes outlook on Deutsche Post to positive from stable

Approximately EUR3 billion of rated debt affected

Milan, September 25, 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service has today changed to positive from stable the outlook on the Baa1/Prime-2 (P-2) long-term and short-term ratings of Deutsche Post AG (Deutsche Post), the senior unsecured Baa1 ratings of its guaranteed subsidiary Deutsche Post Finance B.V. and the Baa1/VMIG-2 rating for Industrial Revenue Bonds supported by Deutsche Post and issued by Kenton County Airport Board, KY. Deutsche Post is the Germany's incumbent provider of mail services and the world's largest logistics service provider under its DHL brand.

RATINGS RATIONALE

"Today's change in outlook reflects Deutsche Post's strong performance over the past two years, despite challenging market conditions, and the progress the group has made in restructuring its business in recent years," says Paolo Leschiutta, a Moody's Vice President - Senior Credit Officer and lead analyst for Deutsche Post. "Since its operating and financial difficulties in 2009, the group has achieved ongoing growth in revenues and profits, demonstrating its ability to weather challenging market conditions, and has been able to halt the deterioration in profitability at its German Mail business," adds Mr. Leschiutta. "We expect that Deutsche Post's credit metrics will further improve over the short to medium term, exerting positive pressure on the group's ratings."

Deutsche Post has achieved these results despite having faced a number of challenges, including (1) the ongoing decline in its mail volumes (due to the general substitution of traditional mail items with electronic communication); (2) the abolition of VAT exemption for certain mail services provided by DP (effective from 1 July 2010); and (3) deteriorating macroeconomic conditions, which have adversely affected demand for its express and logistics services (together, the DHL division), which are more cyclical in nature. In early 2009, the group decided to exit its financial activity through the sale of Deutsche Postbank AG (Postbank, rated separately A2/D+) in a three-tranche structure to Deutsche Bank (A2/C-) for a total consideration of EUR4.9 billion. Deutsche Post used the proceeds to deleverage its balance sheet and invest in restructuring its core Mail and DHL divisions.

The Postbank disposal concluded at the end of February 2012 and, as a result, approximately EUR4.3 billion of debt related to this transaction was removed from Deutsche Post's balance sheet. Deutsche Post's financial leverage -- measured as debt/EBITDA (adjusted for pension and operating leases) -- improved significantly and stood at 3.3x as at June 2012 on a last-12-months basis, compared with 4.1x as at December 2011.

As well as deleveraging following the disposal of Postbank, Deutsche Post has also achieved significant revenues and profit growth rates thanks to the solidity of its network. The group's operating profit increased to EUR2.4 billion during financial year-end (FYE) December 2011 from EUR1.8 billion and EUR231 million during FYE December 2010 and December 2009, respectively. While the revenues of the Mail division remained relatively flat over this period, its profit declined substantially following the introduction of VAT on Deutsche Post's business customers. The group had to give customers significant discounts to avoid losing their business, which led to the profit decline. Although the Mail business is likely to remain under pressure due to the secular decline in mail usage, Deutsche Post has demonstrated its ability to halt the decline in the division's profitability. The strong recovery in the profitability of the group's DHL division more than compensated for the decline in the Mail division's profitability.

The positive trend has continued in the current FYE December 2012. During the first six months to June 2012, Deutsche Post's revenues increased by 5.8% to almost EUR27.1 billion and its EBIT by 3.6% to EUR1.2 billion (this was achieved despite the Mail division's EBIT being affected by a one-off VAT payment of EUR151 million the group had to make during the semester). In addition to an EU fine of EUR298 million, which the group paid in Q2 2012, Deutsche Post will face a number of exceptional payments during the remainder of the year, which will have a negative impact on its key credit metrics: these include a VAT repayment totalling EUR515 million expected during Q3 2012. Despite these payments, Moody's would still expect Deutsche Post to achieve improvements in its metrics as at FYE December 2012 compared with those at FYE 2011.

Although macroeconomic conditions remain challenging, Moody's would expect Deutsche Post to make good progress towards its goal of generating EBIT of EUR2.6-2.7 billion during the current FYE December 2012. Success in achieving these results is likely to exert positive pressure on the rating.

Finally, given the group's 25.5% ownership by KfW Bankengruppe, Germany's largest public development bank (KfW, Aaa/Prime-1 negative), Moody's considers Deutsche Post to be a government-related issuer (GRI). Under Moody's GRI methodology, Deutsche Post's Baa1 rating benefits from a one-notch uplift and reflects the combination of the following inputs: (1) a baseline credit assessment (BCA) of baa2; (2) the Aaa rating of the German government; (3) 'low' default dependence; and (4) 'moderate' probability of support. In early September, KfW disposed of approximately 5% of its stake in Deutsche Post, which on its own is not sufficient to justify a change in the rating agency's support assumption.

The positive outlook on Deutsche Post's Baa1 rating reflects Moody's expectation that the group will (1) further succeed in improving group-wide operating performance, in terms of top-line earnings and profitability; and (2) over the next 12-18 months improve, albeit modestly, its key credit metrics, maintaining a conservative financial policy and a solid liquidity profile at all times.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP/DOWN

Moody's could raise Deutsche Post's BCA if the group were able to sustain the improvements in profitability it achieved during 2011, which would, in turn, enable it to maintain an EBIT margin of around 6%, a retained cash flow (RCF)/debt ratio of above 16% and debt/EBITDA below 3.5x, all on a sustainable basis. Prior to any upgrade, Moody's would also require further evidence of the group's ability to halt the decline in the profitability of its Mail division. An higher BCA will result in a rating upgrade if Moody's support assumptions built into the rating remain the same.

Conversely, Moody's could lower Deutsche Post's BCA if the company's EBIT margin (adjusted for restructuring charges) declines below 4% or if its RCF/debt ratio falls below 13% on an ongoing basis, and there is an absence of a convincing management plan to improve these ratios in the near term. A lower BCA would result in a rating downgrade if Moody's support assumptions remain the same. To this extent, despite the German government's stated intention to reduce its financial interest in Deutsche Post, Moody's current view of the probability of the group receiving government support in the event of need and the default dependence between it and the state is unlikely to change before the government takes further steps to privatise the group. However, a reduction in the support factor could also lead to a downgrade of the debt rating.

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in rating Deutsche Post was the Global Postal and Express Delivery Methodology, published in December 2011. Other methodologies used include the Government-Related Issuers: Methodology Update published in July 2010. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Deutsche Post, Germany's incumbent provider of mail services, is the largest postal operator in Europe in terms of revenues and also the world's largest logistics service provider with operations in more than 220 countries. Deutsche Post operates through four divisions: (1) Mail; (2) Express; (3) Global Forwarding, Freight; and (4) Supply Chain, the last three of which comprise its logistics activities grouped under the DHL brand. In the 12 months ended 30 June 2012, the company reported revenues of EUR54.3 billion, up from EUR52.8 billion reported at financial year ended 31 December 2011.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides relevant regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides relevant regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides relevant regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entities or their designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

Information sources used to prepare each of the ratings are the following: parties involved in the ratings, public information, and confidential and proprietary Moody's Investors Service information.

Moody's considers the quality of information available on the rated entities, obligations or credits satisfactory for the purposes of issuing these ratings.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning the ratings is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

Moody's Investors Service may have provided Ancillary or Other Permissible Service(s) to the rated entities or their related third parties within the two years preceding the credit rating action. Please see the special report "Ancillary or other permissible services provided to entities rated by MIS's EU credit rating agencies" on the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com for further information.

Please see the ratings disclosure page on www.moodys.com for general disclosure on potential conflicts of interests.

Please see the ratings disclosure page on www.moodys.com for information on (A) MCO's major shareholders (above 5%) and for (B) further information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities as well as (C) the names of entities that hold ratings from MIS that have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%. A member of the board of directors of this rated entity may also be a member of the board of directors of a shareholder of Moody's Corporation; however, Moody's has not independently verified this matter.

Please see Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on the Rating Process page on www.moodys.com for further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history. The date on which some ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com for further information.

In addition to the information provided below please find on the ratings tab of the issuer page at www.moodys.com, for each of the ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the lead rating analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued each of the ratings.

Paolo Leschiutta VP - Senior Credit Officer Corporate Finance Group Moody's Italia S.r.l Corso di Porta Romana 68 Milan 20122 Italy Telephone:+39-02-9148-1100Eric de Bodard MD - Corporate Finance Corporate Finance Group JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456 SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454 Releasing Office: Moody's Italia S.r.l Corso di Porta Romana 68 Milan 20122 Italy Telephone:+39-02-9148-1100(C) 2012 Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and/or its licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

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Notwithstanding the foregoing, credit ratings assigned on and after October 1, 2010 by Moody's Japan K.K. ("MJKK") are MJKK's current opinions of the relative future credit risk of entities, credit commitments, or debt or debt-like securities. In such a case, "MIS" in the foregoing statements shall be deemed to be replaced with "MJKK". MJKK is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly owned by Moody's Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO.

This credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness or a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors. It would be dangerous for retail investors to make any investment decision based on this credit rating. If in doubt you should contact your financial or other professional adviser.

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Um die Übersicht zu verbessern, haben Sie die Möglichkeit, die Analysen für Deutsche Post AG nach folgenden Kriterien zu filtern.

Alle: Alle Empfehlungen
Buy: Kaufempfehlungen wie z.B. "kaufen" oder "buy"
Hold: Halten-Empfehlungen wie z.B. "halten" oder "neutral"
Sell: Verkaufsempfehlungn wie z.B. "verkaufen" oder "reduce"

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