bpost Q4: double digit growth

bpost has largely bucked the trend of modest growth in national postal operators with 18.5% operating income increase to €1.131bn in Q4 of 2018. This was driven by acquisitions, strong organic domestic and international parcels growth and nearly stable domestic mail revenues.

Domestic Parcels matched the international trend of strong growth by 15.8%, and 23.3% in the full 2018 financial year. This would have been higher but for industrial action among the staff.

Acquisitions of Imex and M.A.I.L. Inc contributed €33.5 million to the revenue growth.

Operating profit grew by €55 million to €206.4 million.

Koen Van Gerven, CEO, commented: “2018 results are in line with our expectations as expressed at our Capital Markets Day in June and reiterated since. We have delivered on our promises with a full year EBITDA in line with guidance, the contribution from Radial as anticipated and a dividend payment of 1.31 euro per share. I’m therefore very grateful to all employees in Belgium and abroad.

“Our guidance was achieved thanks to a back-end loaded EBITDA generation during a seasonally strong fourth quarter, which benefitted from solid organic parcels growth, both domestically and internationally, despite a negative impact from strike actions. Radial delivered a successful end of year peak and group organic costs decreased over the quarter. We also ended the year positively with the conclusion of an important agreement for the well-being of our workers.”

“Our 2022 vision is clear: we become, beyond mail, an efficient global e-commerce logistics player anchored in Belgium. Over 2018, we have made important progress towards this goal by implementing a real Business Unit structure to bring dedicated focus on the three key challenges of the company, being mail volume decline, parcels growth and Radial. We have already observed visible signs of improvement at Radial with increased client satisfaction, reduction in churn and important contract renewals. 2019 will be another important year on our trajectory with the accelerated preparation of our modified distribution model. This preparatory work will first weigh on results before we can reap the benefits. At the same time, we will have to cope with mounting cost pressure. I am convinced though that backed by the daily commitment of our employees, we can take our long-standing track record of successful transformation a step further. ”

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