DHL could profit from no-deal Brexit, says boss

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDHL boss Frank Appel: 'We might benefit in the short term but Brexit is not a good idea'

The boss of the world's largest logistics firm says that his company could profit from a no-deal Brexit.

Deutsche Post DHL's chief executive Frank Appel said in the long run Brexit would not benefit the UK or the EU.

But he said the firm might profit in the short term from the disruption because "our business is to manage complex situations".

DHL, which employs 54,000 people in the UK was "starting to execute" plans for a no-deal Brexit, he said.

He added he would prefer not to focus on short term profits when the wider impact would be negative.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Mr Appel said he did not think a non-negotiated departure from the EU was "a smart idea" and he still hoped that an alternative solution would be found.

He confirmed that no UK ministers had been in touch with the firm to talk through its preparedness for Brexit.

Mr Appel also said he believed that trade tensions around the world would dissipate, and that goods and services would continue to move freely across borders.

"There is no country that ever succeeded by being alone," Mr Appel warned. "The world has become more global".

He cited the EU's recent trade deal with Japan, arguing that while trade wars make headlines, efforts to reduce regulatory barriers were continuing apace.

Trade stays

The chief executive of Kuwaiti logistics firm Agility echoed these sentiments.

Tarek Sultan, whose business in the UK has expanded rapidly, told the BBC that "free trade is here to stay".

"It's not going to be reversed by the US government taking a hard line on trade agreements," he added.

"The US China trade situation would only be detrimental to the global economy if it were to continue over the long term, but I don't see that happening."

More on this story