Dirk Tirez: bpost continues to progress at pace

Dirk Tirez: bpost continues to progress at pace

bpost has released its first quarter 2021 results, revealing a strong start to the year driven by continued growth in Parcels & Logistics and lower than expected impact of mail volume decline.

First quarter 2021 highlights

  • Group operating income at EUR 1,019.9m, +9.1% compared to last year’s pre COVID-19 first quarter, driven by Parcels BeNe and E-commerce logistics growth in both Parcels & Logistics Europe & Asia and North America.
  • Group adjusted EBIT at EUR 115.5m (margin of 11.3%), up EUR 39.9m compared to prior year. Group reported EBIT at EUR 112.3m.
  • Mail & Retail
    • Total operating income at EUR 506.8m (+1.4%) driven by higher volume driven intersegment income related to parcels volumes, partially compensated by lower revenues in Retail and lower than expected impact of mail volume decline supported by a positive price/mix impact.
    • Underlying mail volume decline at -7.8%.
    • Adjusted EBIT at EUR 70.6m (13.9% margin), up by +8.4%. Reported EBIT at EUR 70.2m.
  • Parcels & Logistics Europe & Asia
    • Total operating income at EUR 287.8m (+34.8%) mainly driven by thriving e-commerce both domestically (Parcels BeNe +39.2%) and abroad (Cross-border +43.1%).
    • Operating income Parcels B2X increased by +51.0% driven by organic Parcels B2X volumes at +54.1% from continued momentum in e-commerce development.
    • Adjusted EBIT at EUR 37.3m (13.0% margin), up EUR 20.4m (+121.2%). Reported EBIT at EUR 36.6m. More than doubling EBIT, with margin improvement driven by elevated proportion of parcels volume handled through the integrated network.
  • Parcels & Logistics North America
    • Total operating income at EUR 282.1m (+7.9%, +17.4% at constant exchange rate), driven by continued strong growth at Radial from existing customers and new business signed in 2020.
    • Adjusted EBIT at EUR 8.2m (2.9% margin), up EUR 15.7m. Reported EBIT at EUR 6.2m. EBIT improvement driven by growth in operating income and operating leverage at Radial.
  • COVID-19: Effective as of March 27, the Belgian government imposed a national lockdown (including the closure of non-essential stores, available by appointment only) to attempt to curb a spike in coronavirus cases. Stores reopened on April 26.
  • Outlook for 2021 is revised upwards. In light of the strong first quarter results, and based on current assumptions of normalization for COVID-19 volumes for the rest of the year, bpost now expects the group adjusted EBIT to be above EUR 310m.

Dirk Tirez, Chief Executive Officer a.i. of bpost group commented on the results: “Our 36,000 employees can be proud of the group’s achievements in this first quarter as bpost continues to progress at pace on its transformation journey as a sustainable postal and omni-commerce logistic company. A resilient mail market combined with a strong e-commerce activity during this first quarter allows bpost to deliver results above expectations with strong improvements compared to last year’s pre-pandemic Q1. This puts the group in a position to upgrade its full year guidance which is to deliver “above EUR 310m” EBIT.

The management team focuses on clear priorities to enable high transformation momentum and deliver results. At the shareholder’s meeting on May 12, the Board governance will be strengthened.”

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