La Poste: Improved Profitability in Face of Macroeconomic Pressures

La Poste

French state-controlled Le Groupe La Poste saw operating profit grow 19.0% y-o-y to €2,134m in the year ending 31 December 2023. Revenues in the period grew 2.4% to €34.1bn. Philippe Wahl, Chair of the Board of Directors commented, the company’s businesses “Had to cope with a number of shocks: high inflation, high interest rates and a slowdown in consumer spending which put the brakes on the boom in e-commerce and therefore the volume of parcels shipped”.

Mail down – parcels grow

Wahl pointed out that now, just 16% of revenues at the Group are from mail. The Service-Mail-Parcels division saw a fall in revenues of 2.7% to €9,936m, of which mail revenues contributed €6,731m, down 4.6% y-o-y.

The Chair continued, “In 2023 parcels accounted for 53% of revenues.” Among highlights in the parcels business as a whole was the Service-Mail-Parcels subsidiary Colissimo, which saw revenues up 2.5% y-o-y to €2,176m. At the same time the company considerably increased its temperature controlled warehousing capacity in France, with ChronoFresh and Chronopost Healthcare planning to double their volumes in fresh food and healthcare products in the next five years.

Geopost swings and roundabouts  

La Poste Group’s Chair said that the international parcel delivery arm Geopost had seen increases in revenues in France, Italy and Ireland. Some 55% of the division’s revenues come from Italy, France, the UK and Germany which saw a mixed picture:

•   France revenues +2.8% y-o-y

•   UK revenues down 3.1%

•   Italy revenues up 5.7%

•   Germany revenues down 5.7%

Across Geopost, Express Parcels saw a zero percent growth in revenues to €13,028m, but the joint venture with Swiss Post controlled by Geopost, Asendia saw a 4.5% growth in revenues to €2,623m. As a whole, Geopost saw revenue growth of 0.2% y-o-y to €15,679m.

Yves Delmas, Geopost CEO said, “Overall, 2023 has been a pivotal year: we continued to deliver our strategy by adapting and taking the necessary actions to protect our operating performance while resolutely carrying out our sustainability agenda.”

Geopost lags behind rest of Group on sustainability

Delmas’ comments on sustainability didn’t ring quite true compared to the rest of the parent company. While La Poste as a whole reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 5% compared to 2022, also reducing its carbon intensity per parcel by 5%, Geopost cut its emissions by just 1.4% y-o-y.

Geopost did however invest in the future of its long-term sustainability goals by adding 2,500 low emissions vehicles to its fleet, including a small number of electric heavy goods vehicles. The division now has 9,000 low emissions vehicles in its global fleet.

Looking ahead

Amongst other highlights of 2023 for La Poste was the formation of DPD Argentina, as the French post and parcels operator invests in international growth. The company stated in 2024, it “Will be working to improve its profitability, in particular by stepping up its effort to reduce costs so it can continue its investments,” that are key to the company’s future.

Author: Richard Shrubb

Source: Ti Insights

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