United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) on Thursday delivered an 18 percent rise in quarterly profit as domestic and international business at the world's biggest package carrier improved.

The Atlanta transport group, known for its chocolate-brown trucks and jets, said second-quarter profit was $818 million, or 72 cents a share, up from $692 million, or 61 cents a share, a year earlier.

Wall Street analysts had expected UPS, which carries about 13.6 million items daily, to earn 71 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates. Forecasts among 14 analysts ranged from 67 cents to 75 cents.

Quarterly revenue at UPS, whose businesses are closely tied to overall economic conditions, rose 7.8 percent to $8.87 billion from $8.23 billion a year earlier. Analysts had forecast nearly $8.9 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company raised its guidance for full-year earnings growth, saying it now expects "to approach 20 percent." Previously, it forecast growth at the upper end of a range of 12 percent to 18 percent.

FedEx Corp. (FDX), the leading rival to UPS, last month reported a 47 percent rise in quarterly profit and strong demand across all markets.