Austrian Post CEO: Against the backdrop of rising costs, the first quarter went well

Austrian Post CEO: Against the backdrop of rising costs, the first quarter went well

Austrian Post has announced its results forQ1 2023, which reveal revenue and earnings are above the year before.

Revenue growth in all divisions

  • Revenue +10.5 % to EUR 664.7m
  • Mail +3.3 % to EUR 308.6m
  • Parcel & Logistics +15.5 % to EUR 327.1m (+4.6 % excluding Parcel Türkiye)
  • Retail & Bank +41.8 % to EUR 37.5m

Higher year-on-year earnings

  • EBITDA +17.1 % to EUR 95.1m
  • EBIT +18.7 % to EUR 47.0m
  • Earnings per share at the prior-year level of EUR 0.46

Cash flow and balance sheet

  • Operating free cash flow of EUR 75.1m
  • Total assets including bank99 of EUR 5.4bn
  • Stable equity capital of EUR 739.7m

Outlook for 2023

  • Targeted Group revenue growth in the mid-single-digit range
  • Ongoing aim to achieve earnings (EBIT) close to the prior year level

Macroeconomic conditions from the previous year continued impacting Austrian Post during the first quarter of 2023. The current inflation is evident in higher costs of energy and purchased services but also increasingly rising personnel costs. In order to counteract these developments, the company needs to implement revenue but also cost-related measures. “Against the backdrop of rising costs, the first quarter went well, as reflected in the higher revenue and earnings,” states Austrian Post CEO Georg Pölzl. “In particular, our Retail & Bank Division benefits from higher interest rates and could significantly improve its revenue as well as earnings,” CEO Pölzl adds. Group revenue increased by 10.5 % to EUR 664.7m in the first quarter of 2023, showing improvements in all divisions: revenue equalled EUR 308.6m in the Mail Division (+3.3 %) and were impacted by the structural decline of addressed letter mail volumes and the reduced direct mailing business, but also benefits from postal rate adjustments implemented in the previous year. The Parcel & Logistics Division accounted for revenues of EUR 327.1m (+15.5 % or +4.6 % excluding Parcel Türkiye) with a very positive parcel business in all regions. Revenue of the Retail & Bank Division climbed to EUR 37.5m (+41.8 %), recent interest rate developments made a positive impact on the division’s revenue. Earnings have also improved in the first quarter. EBITDA rose by 17.1 % to EUR 95.1m, and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) was up by 18.7 % to EUR 47.0m. In this regard, it is important to highlight the earnings increase in the Retail & Bank Division of EUR 11.6m year-on-year, which now made a slightly positive contribution of EUR 0.9m to Group earnings. Accordingly, the slight EBIT decrease in the Mail Division (–0.3 % to EUR 41.0m) and Parcel & Logistics Division (–4.4 % to EUR 16.7m) could be more than offset. Austrian Posts’ net profit for the period amounted to EUR 32.0m compared to EUR 30.5m (+4.9 %) in the previous year, implying earnings per share of EUR 0.46 in the first quarter of 2023. Further cost pressure is expected for the entire 2023 and, from mid-2023, higher staff costs due to salary and wage adjustments in Austria as stipulated in collective labour agreement. On top of that, economic developments and the purchasing behaviour of consumers are becoming harder to predict. Nevertheless, Austrian Post is aiming to maintain or increase revenue in all divisions and targets Group revenue growth in the mid-single-digit range. In the Mail Division, a slight drop in revenue is forecasted. The structural trend of a volume decline in conventional letter mail will continue, but an adapted and up-to-date offering providing value for money should ensure availability and delivery quality at a high level and will cover cost increases. Revenue growth in the upper single-digit range is expected in the Parcel & Logistics Division. However, the increase will heavily depend on the exchange rate development of the Turkish Lira as well as consumer behaviour in an inflationary environment. Revenue of the Retail & Bank Division in 2023 will be supported by the improved interest rate environment and is expected to show a significant increase. With respect to its earnings development, Austrian Post will continue to target EBIT in 2023 at about the same level as last year. Following a good start in the first quarter, higher costs are expected from the third quarter of 2023. The planned investment programme is a top priority in 2023 alongside revenue generation and cost discipline. This primarily refers to finalising capacity expansion of parcel logistics in Austria and expanding the sustainable vehicle fleet towards enhanced e-mobility. As a result, investments in the range of EUR 160m to EUR 180m to ensure sustainability and secure growth are expected.

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