Sales reached $87.7 billion in 2024, compared with $90.2 and $93.5 billion in the previous two years. This worrying decline comes despite a peak in investment in logistics infrastructure over the period, and against a general backdrop of rising volumes.

The decline in sales is notable in the express segment - Fedex's historic business - which is now facing a plethora of competition, also capable of handling volumes in record time; as well as in the freight segment, where competition from airlines has been fierce for the past two years.

I have to say it's remarkable that the Group has succeeded in lightening its cost structure, thus thwarting the most pessimistic forecasts.

Operating profit reached $5.5 billion in fiscal year 2024, compared with $4.9 billion in 2023. Earnings per share are also up, at $17.2 for the year just ended, compared with $15.5 for the previous year. The restructuring program is not over, with a further $2.2 billion in savings expected by 2025.

In terms of cash flow, free cash flow is expected to reach $3.2 billion in 2024, up sharply on last year's figure of $2.6 billion. Fedex returns all of this profit - and considerably more - to its shareholders, via $2.5 billion in share buy-backs and $1.3 billion distributed in dividends.

However, beware of the Group's communication: it claims to have retired 3.9% of its outstanding shares in fiscal 2024; however, net of shares issued as part of stock option compensation, the capital reduction is actually half that.

Management has already announced a repeat of the 2024 share buybacks in the coming fiscal year, coupled with a dividend increase. This should please the market, which for its part sees the valuation hovering around fifteen times earnings - a level typical of a well-established company with no growth.