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FedEx has reported a major upswing in profits for the three months to September, net income climbing more than 40%.

Its first-quarter revenue climbed 12% to $17.1bn, generating some $835m in profits, with chairman Fred Smith noting the success was due to “solid execution” of its business plan.

“We delivered high earnings, driven by a solid execution of our business plan and a strong US economy,” Mr Smith told investors.

“We’re very optimistic about prospects for profitable growth and remain confident we’ll improve Express operating income from $1.2bn in 2017 to $1.5bn in 2020.”

Operating income also passed the $1bn mark, the company citing higher volumes, increased yields and favourable fuel costs.

However, chief financial officer Alan Graf admitted that last year’s first quarter had been affected by the NotPetya cyber-attack that hit subsidiary TNT Express.

“Strong volumes reflect recovery from the attack, but the income impact was partially offset by shifting service mix, compensation, maintenance and merit increases,” said Mr Graf.

“We constructed the networks to be much more flexible, and any shock we’re able to react to very effectively.”

Aside from Services, all FedEx divisions saw double-digit growth, with Express seeing revenue climb 10% to $9.2bn, generating a 15% increase in operating income to $367m. Ground saw a 13% increase in revenue ($4.7bn), leading to a 10% increase in income of $667, while Freight revenue jumped 18% ($1.9bn) with income up 7% to $176m.

“At the end of the day, history shows that people want to travel and trade…  and I would point out that levels we are seeing today are unprecedented in human history,” said Mr Smith.

“Today, billions of people have an unprecedented order entry device sitting in their pocket; they can see the wares of the world.”

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