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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Delivery Firms Post '98 Gains

The market for express delivery services appears to have weathered Russia's financial crisis relatively well, with major players reporting larger turnover and planning new investment and expansion.

Although the August crash savaged revenues for delivery service firms, market participants said the rapid growth they experienced in the first half of last year helped them post positive results for 1998 as a whole.

The markets' biggest and longest-established player, DHL, managed to post just 7 percent turnover growth after being on target for 30 percent by July 1998.

Other delivery firms reported similar experiences, although all reported higher growth than DHL.

TNT Express Worldwide, with offices in 15 cities, recorded 35 percent growth in turnover, said Maria Korbut, TNT's marketing manager. That figure was down on the 50 percent target TNT had set for 1998.

Federal Express posted 30 percent year-on-year growth, while United Parcel Service showed a 21 percent growth in business in 1998.

Industry figures said the sector was naturally less prone to crisis. "Crisis or no crisis, as long as major corporations and banks continue to operate, they also continue to send and receive their shipments and correspondence," said Ivan Shatski, financial director at UPS.

With a profitable 1998 behind them, all of the major firms were planning expansion for 1999. DHL plans to invest $5 million this year in an effort to reach sales growth of up to 20 percent, said Craig Curphey, the company's Russia manager.

UPS, with 16 offices and a claimed 25 percent of the local market, plans $6 million to $7 million in investment this year, said Shatski at UPS.