FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Mail and freight company Deutsche Post DHL saw its profits dip in the first quarter as a tough global economy meant companies shipped fewer goods by air.

A large one-time gain in the year-ago quarter from the sale of the Postbank business to Deutsche Bank also hurt the profit comparison, the Bonn, Germany based company said Tuesday.

Overall, Deutsche Post made a net profit of 498 million euros ($647 million) in the first three months of the year, 5.9 percent lower than the year ago equivalent of 529 million euros. The Postbank sale added 186 million euros last year.

The profit fall came despite a 0.6 percent rise in revenues to 13.44 billion euros.

Deutsche Post, which operates an air freight hub in Cincinnati, Ohio, said its freight business saw slower demand for freight in "a strained macroeconomic environment" that includes a stagnant European economy.

Air freight revenue fell 8.2 percent to 1.2 billion euros, with a particularly strong decline in the technology and manufacturing sectors. Still, operating earnings for the freight division showed a 1 percent increase due to strict cost management.

Deutsche Post, which has 473,000 employees in 220 countries and territories, emerged from the former government post office through privatization, and remains Germany's domestic mail carrier. The German government owns a 24.9 percent stake through its KfW bank.

The company maintained its full-year forecast for as much as 2.95 billion euros in earnings before interest and taxes.

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