AUSTRIAN POST RESULTS IN Q1–3 2021
INCREASED REVENUE AND EARNINGS IN THE FIRST THREE QUARTERS OF 2021
Parcel volume growth, letter mail decline
- Parcel volumes in Austria +16 %, Turkey +14 %, CEE +17 % in Q1-3 2021
- Letter mail volumes –4 % , direct mail items –0.2 % in Q1-3 2021
- Mail +1.1 % to EUR 893.4m
- Parcel & Logistics +57.1 % to EUR 905.6m (+22.8 % excl. Aras Kargo)
- Retail & Bank +6.7 % to EUR 48.8m
- EBITDA +48.1 % to EUR 266.3m
- EBIT +76.9 % to EUR 144.0m
- Mail +3.8 % to EUR 110.8m
- Parcel & Logistics EUR +48.7m to EUR 81.3m
- Retail & Bank +9.1 % to minus EUR 33.9m
- Earnings per share +51.9 % to EUR 1.57
- Operating free cash flow of EUR 196.5m
- Balance sheet total of EUR 2.8bn and high level of cash and cash equivalents
- Expected revenue increase of about 15 %
- Forecasted earnings (EBIT) improvement of about 25 %
- Ongoing focus on investment programme for capacity expansion
Austrian Post’s Group revenue rose by 22.2 % in the first three quarters of 2021, driven by 8.8 % organic growth and the full consolidation of the Turkish subsidiary Aras Kargo. Following high growth rates in the previous quarter, third-quarter 2021 revenue was up by 10.5 % year-on-year or 2.4 % on a like-for-like basis excluding the subsidiary Aras Kargo. However, basic trends impacting current business activities remain unchanged: The volume decline in traditional letter mail continues, the advertising business remains volatile and shows a marginal downward trend, whereas parcel volumes have increased once again over the last quarterly periods.
The revenue mix reflected the structural change and enhanced importance of the parcel segment. The Parcel & Logistics Division generated 49.0 % of total revenue in the first three quarters of 2021 whereas the Mail Division’s share fell to 48.3 %. Parcel revenue increased by 57.1 % year-on-year to EUR 905.6m. Not only the Turkish subsidiary Aras Kargo but also organic growth of 22.8 % in the first three quarters of 2021 and 14.4 % in the third quarter underline the significance of this business which is benefitting from the ongoing increase in e-commerce. Naturally, the Mail Division has to cope with a downward volume development, but revenue in the first nine months of 2021 has improved nevertheless by 1.1 % to EUR 893.4m. The Retail & Bank Division also reported revenue growth of 6.7 % to EUR 48.8m. bank99 was launched in April 2020 and offers focused financial services to its customers. The division should be able to further expand its business due to the acquisition of ING’s retail business in Austria, which was communicated in June 2021. The closing is expected to take place by the end of 2021, subject to regulatory approval.
Earnings in the first three quarters of 2021 also reflect the improved revenue situation. Against the backdrop of a prior-year development strongly impacted by COVID-19 and the expansion of the parcel business, EBITDA rose by 48.1 % to EUR 266.3m, and EBIT was up by 76.9 % to EUR 144.0m. Third-quarter EBIT also increased by 22.4 % to EUR 40.6m. The Mail Division reported an EBIT improvement of 3.8 % to EUR 110.8m in the first three quarters of 2021, which is due to the higher letter and direct mail revenue after a prior-year period that was negatively affected by COVID-19. EBIT of the Parcel & Logistics Division increased from EUR 32.6m to EUR 81.3m in the first nine months of 2021. The earnings rise is attributable to the outstanding revenue development in all markets. In particular, the full consolidation of the Turkish company Aras Kargo has positively impacted divisional earnings. The Retail & Bank Division generated an EBIT of minus EUR 33.9m in the first three quarters of 2021, compared to minus EUR 37.3m in the previous year. Austrian Post’s profit for the period totalled EUR 110.5m in the first three quarters of 2021, up from the prior-year level of EUR 64.5m. Earnings per share equalled EUR 1.57 in the current reporting period compared to EUR 1.03 in the previous year.
Developments in the first three quarters reinforce the outlook for the entire year 2021. In addition to adverse effects by the COVID-19 pandemic, the market environment is expected to be increasingly impacted by macroeconomic issues such as supply bottlenecks and supply shortages of various commodities as well as by cost increases. Despite a possible lower e-commerce development resulting from that, record revenues from the prior year should be achieved in the fourth quarter again. For this reason, the forecast of an approx. 15 % revenue increase in 2021 remains unchanged. On the basis of the current business results as well as current revenue forecasts, earnings are expected to increase by about 25 % in the 2021 financial year (basis 2020 EBIT: EUR 161m).
The focus will be on achieving strong operating performance in the fourth quarter of 2021. The expected parcel volumes will be handled in line with Austrian Post’s usual high-quality standards and the logistics expansion programme will be continued as planned. The objective is to continuously increase sorting capacities and to ensure a sustainable enhancement of efficiency. “We consider ourselves fully equipped to manage the expected transport volumes due to the expansion of our logistics network and the organisational preparations for the fourth quarter,” concludes Georg Pölzl.
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