AUSTRIAN POST’S PRELIMINARY RESULTS 2020: COVID-19 CHALLENGES AND RECORD PARCEL VOLUMES HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY DEALT WITH
Volume development in 2020 impacted by COVID-19 and the following lockdown as well as by the rapid increase in digitalisation
- Letter mail volume decline of 7 %, 12 % drop in direct mail volumes
- 30 % rise in Austrian parcel volumes, CEE parcels up by 27 %, 47 % increase in Turkey
- Mail Division: -7.4 % to EUR 1,222m
- Parcel & Logistics Division: +44.4 % to EUR 914m (+28.4 % excl. Aras Kargo)
The whole 2020 as well as the recently concluded fourth quarter presented a major challenge for Austrian Post. In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the priority has been to ensure the safety and health of the company’s employees and to maintain the performance of the company at the same time. Both tasks were successfully accomplished over the last few months. The fourth-quarter increase in parcel volumes presented a major logistical challenge in all regions. The reliability of service delivery has been maintained. “Our special thanks go to our employees as well as to our Austrian Post partners. All of them were working strenuously on a daily basis during the challenging fourth quarter. Against the backdrop of record parcel volumes, they ensured that Austrian Post’s customers received their parcels on time,” says Austrian Post CEO Georg Pölzl.
The development of the letter, direct mail and parcel businesses varied considerably in 2020. The volume flows of letter and direct mail items were strongly reduced as a result of the pandemic. The volume of addressed letter mail fell by 7 % year-on-year, compared to a 5 % decrease in media post. The decline even reached a level of 12 % for direct mail items, due to the substantial impact of the lockdown measures in many sectors.
In contrast, parcel volumes showed a positive development of +30 % in Austria, +27 % in the CEE region and +47 % in Turkey. In particular, the company succeeded in handling the enormous parcel volumes in the fourth quarter of 2020 while, at the same time, maintaining high quality in delivery. This underlines the importance of Austrian Post’s current capacity expansion programme. Sorting and distribution capacities will be further increased in 2021.
According to preliminary figures, Group revenue of Austrian Post increased by 8.3 % in 2020 to EUR 2,189m. The Turkish company Aras Kargo, fully consolidated since 25 August 2020, also contributed to growth with revenue of about EUR 100m. The increase in revenue excluding Aras Kargo is therefore 3.3 %. Revenue in the Mail Division accounted for EUR 1,222m (-7.4 %), in the Parcel & Logistics Division EUR 914m (+44.4 %; +28.4 % excl. Aras Kargo) and in the Retail & Bank Division EUR 65m (-19.7 %).
In line with this revenue development, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) are expected to be in the range of EUR 160m, compared to EUR 201m in 2019. The EBIT decline in the Mail and Retail & Bank Divisions are in contrast to a significant earnings improvement achieved by the Parcel & Logistics Division. In particular, Austrian Post managed to effectively cope with logistical bottlenecks arising in the fourth quarter, both in terms of volumes as well as costs.
The figures are subject to the audit of the consolidated financial statements. The final annual result 2020 will be published on 12 March 2021.
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