Austrian Post reports stable revenue despite COVID-19
Austrian Post has reported that its revenue for the first half of 2020 was up 0.1 % to € 981.9 million, but its business development was impacted by COVID-19.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Austrian Post’s CEO Georg Pölzl said: “The first half of 2020 presented major challenges for many companies across the globe, including Austrian Post. The company’s priorities were determined, on the one hand, by the COVID-19 pandemic and related safety and health protection measures, and on the other hand, by the negative economic impacts. In particular, the second quarter of 2020 brought about the most significant disruption of the last ten years due to lockdown and economic standstill in some industries.
“In spite of the considerably more difficult conditions, Austrian Post succeeded in maintaining the nationwide supply of mail, parcel and branch network services thanks to the tireless commitment of all employees, although the fulfilment of delivery obligations wasn’t necessarily profitable and government regulations and crisis measures produced extra costs.
“Upon initial review, our conclusion is that we managed to preserve the safety and health of employees and safeguard the performance capabilities of the company. This entailed considerable costs to ensure staff safety and resulted in extremely high capacity utilisation of the logistics infrastructure to handle the additional parcel volumes of up to 50 % per week.”
Pölzl said that, despite the COVID-19 backdrop, Austrian Post’s first half-year 2020 revenue “exceeded expectations” and “earnings were in line with current expectations”. The Parcel Division showed a significant increase of 30.0 %, compensating for the decline in the Mail and Retail & Bank divisions.
The Mail Division accounted for 59.8 % of the Group revenue. In the Mail Division, the expected shortfalls resulted in a revenue decrease of 10.5 %. According to Austrian Post: “This is, on the one hand, due to a significant decline in conventional Letter Mail volumes triggered by the closure of many governmental offices and businesses. On the other hand, Direct Mail revenue was also significantly impaired by the government-imposed store closings in response to COVID-19.”
The revenue of the Parcel & Logistics Division was driven by organic growth from online orders as well as additional parcel volumes generated through the cooperation with Deutsche Post DHL Group since August 2019.
Austrian Post said that a forecast for revenue and earnings in the 2020 financial year as a whole “is not possible at present due to the currently hard-to-assess economic situation in many customer segments facing uncertainty”.
The company added: “The further development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting government measures as well as the manner and extent to which the economy rebounds will all have a direct impact on the company’s further business development in 2020. Against the backdrop of current trends, and assuming an ongoing recovery of the economic situation, it is expected that revenue will remain largely stable in 2020.”