Swiss Post recorded group profits of CHF 459m in the first half of 2012, around 17% less than in the first half of 2011, but said given the “challenging environment” this was still strong within the Group’s objectives.
The company said its fall in profits can be attributed to the low interest rates on the financial markets, the resulting increase in employee benefit expenses and reduced income from the disposal of property.
Swiss Post registered positive results in all four markets. From the current standpoint, Swiss Post expects a solid annual result for 2012, though below that of the previous year.
From January to June 2012, Swiss Post recorded group profits of CHF 459m. This figure is CHF 91m, or 17%, less than the record result achieved during the same period in the previous year. In light of the challenging economic and financial situation, the result is still strong within the Group’s objectives.
The fall in profits can be attributed to the low interest rates on the financial markets, the resulting increase in employee benefit expenses and reduced income from the disposal of property. This fall could not be entirely offset by increased sales and efficiency and had a negative impact on profits.
Operating income fell slightly to CHF 4,293m (previous year: CHF 4,305m). Equity was strengthened further, totalling CHF 5,160m at the mid-year point.
Positive results in all four markets
Swiss Post registered positive results in all four of its markets, although the contribution to the change in group profits varied from one market to another.
In the communication market, the period from January to June generated an operating result of CHF 61m (previous year: CHF 75m). This fall was primarily due to higher employee benefit expenses, which had a negative effect on the result achieved by PostMail. This amounted to CHF 112m compared to CHF 142m during the same period the previous year.
The volume of addressed letters fell by 1.8% in comparison with the first half of 2011, while the volume of unaddressed mail increased by 47% as a result of the complete takeover of the DMC Group.
Swiss Post Solutions achieved an operating result of CHF 2m (previous year: CHF 3m). Pricing pressure in the US had a particularly negative impact in this segment. Post Offices & Sales increased its result by CHF 17m to CHF -53m (previous year: CHF -70m).
This marked improvement was the result of sustainable cost management in the post office network. Over-the-counter postal business volumes – in particular in-payments – continued to fall. In the logistics market, PostLogistics recorded a result of CHF 73m, slightly below the previous year’s result of CHF 78m.
This fall was essentially due to higher costs for dispatch services and investments in new IT systems. The number of parcels transported increased by 4.4%, driven by the partial recovery of import parcel processing from Germany and increased Internet business. In the retail financial market, PostFinance achieved a result of CHF 295m (previous year: CHF 330m).
The 10.6% downturn was primarily due to record low interest rates on the financial markets. In the public passenger transport market, PostBus recorded a result of CHF 18m, only marginally less than the result achieved in the first half of the previous year (CHF 19m). This slight fall was essentially the result of higher employee benefit expenses.
Solid annual result expected
From the current standpoint, Swiss Post expects to record a solid result for 2012 as a whole. However, it is unlikely to match that of the previous year.
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