bpost – COVID changed the business in 2020

Group operating income in the fourth quarter 2020 results at bpost were up 7.2% compared to 2019 at €1.194bn. Adjusted group net profit for the full year at the Belgian postal operator was €200.9 million.

This growth, according to bpost was led by parcels and logistics in Europe and Asia. Big losses however were made in its mail segment thanks to a volume drop of 11.8%. Both the uptick in parcels and collapse in mail were driven by the national lockdowns that year.

François Cornelis, Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented: “While the COVID-19 pandemic was harmful to society, it has accelerated the transformation of the company into an e-commerce service provider. The year results confirm the potential of the adopted strategy and the confidence of the board in our capacity to serve society and reward our shareholders.”

Jean-Paul Van Avermaet, CEO of bpost group: “Our FY20 adjusted EBIT came in at EUR 280.6m, fully in line with our commitment to realize at least EUR 270m. We thank our committed employees, who have made considerable efforts to guarantee the continuity of our operations, in difficult circumstances. They have served our customers worldwide in the best possible way. Mail and Retail was impacted by a second national COVID-19 lockdown in Belgium in November, resulting in pressure on mail volumes and proximity retail. Our Parcels and Logistics businesses on both sides of the Atlantic continued to benefit from strong e-commerce development over the quarter.”

“For the full year 2020, within the challenging context of the pandemic we witnessed an unprecedented growth in our domestic parcels volumes and our international e-commerce activities, which progressively led to a shift in EBIT contribution by business unit. This strengthens our strategic vision CONNECT 2026 to accelerate our transformation into an e-commerce group close to our society, while remaining an efficient mail provider in Belgium.”

“By delivering on our ambitions for CONNECT 2026, and building on the recent development of our Parcels & Logistics activities, we expect our group adjusted EBIT for 2021 to be in the range of EUR 265-295m, broadly in line with 2020 where, despite all challenges faced, COVID-19 had a net positive contribution to the result.”