The year 2023 has been marked by challenging conditions. The high inflation accompanied by a weakening economic output has a negative impact on the investment behaviour of consumers and institutions. In particular, strationary trade and e-commerce businesses face declining demand. This development also applies to Austrian Post’s mail order and advertising customers. “Against this backdrop, we are very satisfied with the development of Austrian Post”, states CEO Georg Pölzl. “Growth in the parcel business as well as the increase in financial services managed to offset the decline in letter mail and direct mail items”, Pölzl continues.
Group revenue improved by 8.5 % in the first three quarters of 2023 to EUR 1,969.3m. The Parcel & Logistics Division showed a revenue increase of 16.6 % to EUR 1,009.1m based on volume growth in all of Austrian Post’s regions: +11 % in Austria, +25 % in Southeast and Eastern Europe and +11 % in Türkiye in the first nine months of 2023. The market but also growth in Türkiye continue to be negatively impacted by high inflation and exchange rate developments. The Mail Division reported a revenue decline of 2.3 % in the first three quarters of 2023 to EUR 866.7m, which is related to further decline in the conventional letter mail business as well as to volume decrease in direct mail. The Retail & Bank Division generated strong revenue growth of 39.3 % to EUR 118.6m due to the improved interest rate environment for banks.
Despite the ongoing challenges and cost-related inflationary trends, Austrian Post showed an improvement in its earnings indicators for the first three quarters of 2023. EBITDA climbed by 9.5 % to EUR 282.4m, and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose by 4.4 % to EUR 130.8m. The Mail Division reported an EBIT of EUR 102.1m in the first three quarters of 2023, a decline of 7.8 % from the prior-year level of EUR 110.7m. Declining volumes could only be partially offset by postal rate adjustments. EBIT achieved by the Parcel & Logistics Division equalled EUR 60.7m in the first three quarters of 2023, up by 3.5 % from the prior-year result of EUR 58.6m. The Retail & Bank Division showed a strong earnings improvement of 77.5 %, resulting in an EBIT of minus EUR 5.6m in the first three quarters of 2023, up from minus EUR 24.8m in the previous year. In this regard, a significant contribution was made by the positive development of the financial services business of bank99 due to the improved interest rate environment. All in all, profit for the period of the Austrian Post Group rose from EUR 84.8m to EUR 90.8m in the first nine months of 2023, resulting in improved earnings per share of EUR 1.30 compared to EUR 1.25 in the prior-year period (+4.4 %).
Inflation, consumer behaviour and retail sector developments in the retail sector will continue to be the main challenges in Austrian Post’s markets in the upcoming quarters. Leveraging growth opportunities and, at the same time, implementing efficiency enhancement measures will remain the top priority. Accordingly, the company confirmed its outlook and expects growth in 2023 at least in the mid-single-digit range. Forecast fluctuations are particularly due to the inflationary environment in Türkiye as well as the volatile exchange rate of the Turkish Lira. Austrian Post aims to generate earnings (EBIT) in 2023 at last year’s level. The target for 2024 is also to achieve revenue growth, especially in the parcel business, to offset cost increases and maintain the track record of stability in earnings development.
The massive investment programme implemented in recent years that allowed to increase the sorting capacity of Austrian parcel logistics by nearly threefold is currently in its final phase, with the new Parcel Logistics Centre Vienna being put into operation. Furthermore, Austrian Post will go ahead with expanding e-mobility to ensure a CO₂-free delivery in Austria by 2030. “Not only do we strive to offer our customers an outstanding quality, but we also want to be in the lead in terms of green logistics,” CEO Georg Pölzl concludes.
Source: Austrian Post