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Latvian Post profits up 430% ahead of market liberalisation

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Latvian Post quadrupled its profits in 2012 compared to the year before, as a major restructuring cut costs and improved service quality.

The national postal operator for the Baltic Republic said its latest unaudited results show a LVL 3.7m profit for the year – about EUR 5.3m.

After six consecutive years of annual losses, the state-owned company recorded a LVL 686,000 (EUR 981,000) profit in 2011 thanks to a profitable final quarter.

The company began 2012 by appointing a brand new board of directors, who oversaw a 3.2% year-on-year increase in the company’s LVL 41.1m (EUR 58.7m) sales for the year.

As well as underlining the financial recovery of Latvian Post, the new board spent the year preparing for the full opening of the Latvian postal market to competition from private sector firms. Under the EU’s Third Postal Directive, Latvia was among 11 remaining Member States required to end postal service monopolies as of January 2013.

Latvian Post said during 2012, its new board implemented structural reforms across the company designed to cut costs and improve efficiency, while improving service quality and customer service levels.

New and upgraded services were also introduced.

As part of efforts to boost customer service, Latvian Post introduced modern new payment systems for 133 post offices, bringing the total number of post offices where goods and services can be paid for using credit cards to 177.

Latvian Post also built on the growing e-commerce market by establishing an alternative shipping network, working with the fuel retailer Statoil to provide parcel deliveries through local filling stations.

“Huge contribution”

The Post’s chairman, Maris Kleinberg, said the positive results for 2012 reflected the changes made to the company during the year.

“Latvian Post has done much to stabilise the company’s financial results and improve its performance,” he said.

“Each one of the more than 4,200 Latvian Post workers have made a huge collective contribution to the company’s goal to work more efficiently, serve more customers and provide better service.”

Kleinberg said the year’s restructuring and product development was “only the first step” in the company’s efforts to strengthen its competitiveness and improve its financial improvement.

“Latvian Post still has much work to do in terms of the company’s modernisation and introduction of new services to increase the speed of delivery and build quality in its customer service,” he said.

Latvian Post made LVL 24m (EUR 34m) of cumulative losses from 2005 to 2010, using last year’s profit to pay off some of the debt.

Latvian ministers met with Lithuanian counterparts last year to discuss the possibility of merging the national postal services of the two nations, as a way of coping with postal market liberalisation.

Source: Post&Parcel/Latvian Post

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