bpost reports excellent Q4 results

Belgian postal operator bpost has reported an “excellent fourth quarter (Q4) 2015″, with revenues of €642.9m.

The company said that the results were “thanks to better Domestic Mail trend and strong Parcels performance, despite lower SGEI compensation and curtailment of International Mail since the first quarter of 2015″.

As with all the major postal operators in the world, the company saw domestic mail volumes decline, but this year at a slower rate – a fall of 3.9% in Q$ compared to a 5.4% fall in the first nine months. Bpost said that this was down to improved performance in transactional and advertising mail. For the full year, underlying domestic mail volumes declined by 5.0%.

Domestic parcel volumes are growing strongly, with a 13.9% increase in Q4, and amounting to 12.6% for the full year. This was “driven by e-commerce, positive evolution from catalogue sellers, C2C and particularly strong December at +15.7%”.

The company saw its international parcels business grow by €6.4 million in Q4 of 2015, which bpost said was mainly driven by lanes from the US, supported by the peak e-commerce sales season and a positive FX contribution.

The postal operator’s normalised net profit for the full year was €303.6 million.

Koen Van Gerven, bpost’s CEO, said: “The excellent results recorded in the fourth quarter prove once again that the disciplined execution of our strategy continues to bear its fruits. Our parcels activities developed very strongly, especially during the end of year season. Our productivity improvements plans are still on track and continued to deliver while we also benefitted from an improved domestic mail trend.”

As with other postal operators in Europe and the US it seems that the growth of the parcel delivery business is more than compensating for the loss of mail business.