PostNL bucks trend with revenue growth

PostNL saw revenue growth and a marginal drop in profits in the financial year 2018. Growth was led by e-commerce parcels even in the face of letter mail decline.

Revenues for 2018 grew to €2.272 billion, a slight growth from last year’s €2.725 billion. Underlying cash operating income however dropped from €241 million in 2017 to €188 million in 2018.

E-commerce related activities at PostNL amounted to 48% of its revenues. Parcel volumes grew by 20% in the period, which while very strong is a slight drop on 2017’s 22%. This double digit growth happened even as addressed mail volumes dropped by 10.2%.

As compared to other postal operators’ recent financial statements that have shown big declines in profit and revenue, PostNL is moving very strongly. Herna Verhagen, CEO of PostNL: “Step by step we are realising our strategy of becoming the postal and e-commerce logistics company of choice for customers. In 2018, 48% of our revenue came from activities related to e-commerce, evidencing our transition. We achieved an underlying cash operating income in the upper-part of our guidance, with announca strong performance in Q4, our peak season.

In Parcels, we reported record-high volumes during our peak season and operational performance improved on the back of increasing volumes. At the same time, we faced additional capacity costs, partly explained by a tight labour and transport market and increasing IT costs related to further development of our digital services. In Spring, the competitive environment remained fierce, especially in Asia, putting pressure on volume and on margin. Performance at Mail in the Netherlands was characterised by volume decline, price increases and cost savings. The run-rate of cost savings improved in the second half of 2018.

In line with our strategy to focus on the Benelux, we decided in August to divest Postcon in Germany and Nexive in Italy. We are making good progress with the divestment process and expect to make further announcements before the summer.”

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