CORRECTED – UPDATE 1-UPS sees strong Q2 Asia growth, adds aircraft

(Corrects number of Shanghai aircraft from 11 to 1 in bullet
point and final paragraph)

* Says euro crisis has no major impact on business so far

* Volcanic ash cloud does not pose any issue to business

* Plans to add two aircraft in Hong Kong, one in Shanghai

By Fion Li

SHENZHEN, May 18 (BestGrowthStock) – United Parcel Service (UPS.N: ),
the world’s largest package delivery service, said on Tuesday
it expected strong growth in the second quarter in its Asia
business amid an improving regional economy.

UPS’s Asia volume grew more than 20 percent in the first
quarter with the fastest growth from the region’s small- and
medium-sized enterprises.

The volume growth in Asia remained “very strong,” said
Derek Woodward, UPS Asia Pacific President. But he declined to
give further details.

Atlanta-based UPS reported better-than-expected
first-quarter earnings last month and the company was
optimistic about the market’s outlook this year.

Woodward was in Shenzhen for the opening of UPS’ Asia
Pacific hub at the city’s Baoan International Airport. The
facilities with an investment of $180 million replace UPS’s hub
in Clark, in the Philippines.

“China is our No. 1 international priority,” Woodward said.
“The new hub shall help to facilitate business in Asia.”

Shenzhen, which is UPS’s second hub in China after
Shanghai, will focus on intra-Asia traffic, which is boosted by
a bilateral trade agreement between China and ASEAN that came
into effect this year.

The volcanic ash cloud hampering air traffic in Europe did
not present any issues for its business, International
President Daniel Brutto told reporters.

Brutto also said the Europe debt crisis and a recent fall
in the euro had no major impact on UPS’ business so far and the
crisis was isolated in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland.

“I can’t predict the future but at this stage we are still
very confident in our growth in Asia to Europe,” he said.

UPS plans to add two aircraft in Hong Kong and one in
Shanghai from June 1 to tap growth in China. It currently
operates 23 aircraft within the Asia Pacific region.

Investing Research

(Writing by Alison Leung; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

CORRECTED – UPDATE 1-UPS sees strong Q2 Asia growth, adds aircraft