(MENAFN - AFP) Global package delivery giant FedEx Wednesday reported a 7 percent rise in first-quarter earnings, fueled by growth in some segments and lower operating costs in others.
Profits at FedEx, which is often seen as a proxy for global economic activity, came in at 489 million on revenues of 11.0 billion in the fiscal first quarter that ended August 31, up from the year-ago figures of 459 million on revenues of 10.8 billion.
The earnings translated into 1.53 per share, two cents above analyst expectations.
"Growth in overall demand for our broad global portfolio of solutions drove our improved first-quarter results," chief executive Frederick Smith said in a statement.
Revenues at FedEx Express, which covers worldwide delivery, slipped from 6.63 billion to 6.60 billion. But expenses dipped 1 percent as fuel and employee salaries declined slightly.
"FedEx Express remains focused on reducing costs while facing challenging global economic conditions," Smith said.
Volumes at FedEx Express rose, but revenue per freight-pound declined. FedEx officials have said customers are turning away from premium deliveries given the tough economy.
Revenues in FedEx Ground, which covers North America, rose 11 percent to 2.7 billion. Smith said the segment "continues to generate strong profitability on growing customer demand for its services."
FedEx reaffirmed that its full-year profits would rise 7-13 percent from last year's level.
"We remain confident in our full year earnings outlook despite tepid global economic growth," said chief financial officer Alan Graf.
The Memphis, Tennessee-based company also announced that FedEx Express would raise shipping rates by an average of 3.9 percent for many US packages starting in January 2014.
FedEx said it would announce 2014 price increases for FedEx Ground and FedEx Smart Post later this year.