Georg Pölzl on Q1-3 results: we are very satisfied with the development of Austrian Post
Austrian Post has announced its Q1-3 results 2023, revealing an increase in sales and earnings compared to 2022.
- Revenue +8.5% to EUR 1,969.3m
- Mail –2.3% to EUR 866.7m
- Parcel & Logistics +16.6% to EUR 1,009.1m
- Subsidiary & Bank +39.3% to EUR 118.6 million
- EBITDA +9.5% to EUR 282.4m
- EBIT +4.4% to EUR 130.8m
- Earnings per share +4.4% to EUR 1.30
Cash Flow and Balance Sheet
- Operating free cash flow of EUR 177.2m
- Equity of EUR 674.9m as of September 30, 2023
- Outlook maintained, growth in Group sales in 2023 at least in the mid-single-digit range
- Consolidated net income (EBIT) for 2023 expected to remain at the previous year’s level
- 2024: Revenue growth targeted to continue long-term stable earnings development
The year 2023 is characterized by challenging conditions. High inflation combined with weakening economic output is having a negative impact on the investment behaviour of consumers and companies. The retail sector in particular is currently experiencing declining demand both in brick-and-mortar stores and online. This development also affects customers of Austrian Post in the mail order and advertising sectors. “Against the backdrop of the tense macroeconomic environment, we are very satisfied with the development of Austrian Post,” said CEO Georg Pölzl. “The growth in the parcel segment, but also the increase in financial services, was able to compensate for the decline in letter and direct mail,” Pölzl continued.The Group’s revenue improved by 8.5% to EUR 1,969.3m in the first three quarters of 2023. The Parcel & Logistics Division recorded revenue growth of 16.6% to EUR 1,009.1m, based on volume growth in all regions of Austrian Post: In the first nine months of 2023, volume growth of 11% was recorded in Austria, 25% in Southeastern and Eastern Europe and 11% in Turkey. The market and growth in Turkey continue to be impacted by high inflation and exchange rate developments. In the first three quarters of 2023, the Mail Division recorded a 2.3% decline in revenue to EUR 866.7m, due to a further decline in the traditional mail business, but also due to a decline in volume in the advertising business. The Branch & Bank Division generated a strong increase in revenue of 39.3% to EUR 118.6m as a result of the improved interest rate environment for banks. Despite the ongoing challenges and cost-related inflation trends, Austrian Post was able to record an improvement in key earnings figures in the first three quarters of 2023. EBITDA increased by 9.5% to EUR 282.4m and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose by 4.4% to EUR 130.8m. The Mail Division generated EBIT of EUR 102.1m in the first three quarters of 2023, compared with EUR 110.7m in the previous year (–7.8%). The decline in volumes could only be partially offset by collective bargaining measures. In the Parcel & Logistics Division, EBIT of EUR 60.7m was generated in the first three quarters of 2023, compared with EUR 58.6m (+3.5%). The Retail & Bank Division recorded EBIT of minus EUR 5.6m in the first three quarters of 2023, compared to minus EUR 24.8m in the same period of the previous year, showing a strong improvement in earnings of 77.5%. This was largely due to the positive development in bank99’s financial services business, based on the improved interest rate environment. Net income for the period increased from EUR 84.8m to EUR 90.8m in the first three quarters of 2023, resulting in improved earnings per share of EUR 1.30 compared to EUR 1.25 in the same period of the previous year (+4.4%). Inflation, consumer behaviour and retail developments will continue to be key challenges in Austrian Post’s markets in the coming quarters. Seizing growth opportunities while implementing efficiency measures remains a top priority. The company maintains its outlook and expects growth at least in the mid-single-digit range for the 2023 financial year. Forecast fluctuations are due in particular to the inflation environment in Turkey and the fluctuating exchange rate of the Turkish lira. The goal remains unchanged to achieve consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in 2023 at the previous year’s level. Revenue growth – especially in the parcel segment – is also targeted for 2024 in order to counter the upward trend in costs and to continue the long-standing stable earnings trend. The massive investment programme of recent years, with almost a tripling of the sorting capacity in parcel logistics in Austria, is currently in its final phase with the commissioning of the new parcel logistics centre in Vienna. In addition, the expansion of e-mobility will be further advanced, with the aim of creating CO2-free delivery in Austria by 2030. “We are striving not only to be able to offer our customers excellent quality, but also to continue to be a pioneer in green logistics,” Georg Pölzl concludes.