Parcel volume growth helps Austrian Post to a strong first quarter

A 14.1% growth in revenue to €758.6m and operating profit growth of 8.7% y-o-y to €103.4m put Austrian Post in a strong position in the face of wider macroeconomic headwinds in the first quarter of 2024. CEO Georg Pölzl said, “Against the backdrop of a difficult market environment as well as inflation-related cost increases, the company performed very well.”

The Mail division saw a 3.2% growth in profit to €42.3m on revenues up 3.5% to €315.6m. Restructuring of direct mail and letter mail prices in 2023 offset volume falls in both sub-segments. The Parcel and Logistics division had 44.9% profit growth to €24.2m on revenues that grew 23.2% to €402.9m.

Parcels division does well in the face of economic headwinds

Where domestic Austrian parcel volumes benefitted from improved e-commerce sales in the quarter, Austrian Post’s international interests did well too. Its management board commented, Parcel Turkey made “a substantial contribution to the earnings environment.” Broken down by region:

  • Austrian domestic parcel volumes were up 15% y-o-y and revenues up 16.2% to €215.5m
  • Turkey parcel volumes up 6% and revenues up 41.4% to €118.2m
  • Central and Southeastern Europe volumes were up 44% y-o-y and revenues up 27.9% to €55.5m

As a division, Parcels and Logistics is still significantly less profitable than the Mail division, with Parcels and Logistics having a margin of 6.0% against the Mail division’s 13.4%. The postal operator is continuing to invest in parcels as it is still responsible for the majority of its revenues. The company said that looking forward, “The planned investment programme remains a top priority alongside revenue generation and cost discipline.”

Even so, compared to other postal operators in Europe, Austrian Post has had a good financial quarter. Pölzl concluded, “We are extremely grateful to our employees for their commitment and joint efforts to work on providing a first class service to our customers.”

Author: Richard Shrubb