bpost – fall in Q3 profits / Lagardere approval

Following on from its bid to buy PostNL Belgian postal operator bpost has reported an operating income of €538.1 million for Q3 of 2016. While the merger bid goes ahead authorities have approved its plans to buy the Belgian business of Lagardère Travel Retail.

For bpost there was a decline of 5.9% in domestic mail volume as a strong performance in advertising was offset by transaction mail and press.

Commenting on the results, Koen Van Gerven, bpost’s CEO, said: “We continued to record solid growth in both domestic and international parcels, driven by booming e-commerce and bolt-on acquisitions to strengthen our service offering.”

Meanwhile the Belgian Competition Authority has approved bpost’s plans to buy the Belgian activities of Lagardère Travel Retail.

The approval is conditional. Bpost must meet a number of commitments though bpost say that these are in line with its ambitions for the project.

According to bpost: “These commitments primarily focus on maintaining a good quality press distribution, the return system and the shop subscriptions. bpost also undertakes not to privilege its own points of sale, whether during the selection of new postal points or on the level of quality of press distribution. Lastly, bpost will continue to offer the services of the Kariboo! parcel delivery network to other operators.”

bpost added: “Further to the green light from the Belgian Competition Authority, we can now concentrate on finalising this transaction before the end of this year. bpost is convinced this project will be positive for the sector, clients and the employees.”

Of course, the bpost plan that is really generating interest in the postal industry is the company’s renewed interest in PostNL. As previously reported, bpost has submitted an improved offer which values PostNL at €2.5bn and it is now awaiting a response.

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