Austrian Post Q1: the company saw both revenue and earnings increase

Austrian Post Q1: the company saw both revenue and earnings increase

Austrian Post has announced its 2024 Q1 results with revenue and earnings above the prior year.

Revenue growth in all divisions

  • Revenue up by 14.1 % to EUR 758.6m
  • Mail +2.3 % to EUR 315.6m
  • Parcel & Logistics +23.2 % to EUR 402.9m (+16.9 % excl. Parcel Türkiye)
  • Retail & Bank +26.0 % to EUR 47.2m

Earnings higher YOY

  • EBITDA +8.7 % to EUR 103.4m
  • EBIT +11.4 % to EUR 52.4m
  • Earnings per share +28.2 % to EUR 0.59

Cash flow and balance sheet

  • Operating free cash flow of EUR 72.3m
  • Balance sheet total incl. bank99 of EUR 5.9bn

Outlook 2024

  • Expected Group revenue growth in the mid-single-digit range
  • Earnings (EBIT) at least at the prior-year level

The first quarter of 2024 continued to be impacted by difficult macroeconomic conditions prevailing in Austrian Post’s markets. The high inflation rate and weak economic catalysts negatively affected the willingness of companies to invest as well as consumer purchasing behaviour. On the one hand, a decline in traditional retail stores was noticeable whereas on the other hand growth in national and international e-commerce was reported. Austrian Post generated a 15 % increase in parcel volumes in Austria in the first quarter of 2024, compared with a 6 % rise in Türkiye and 44 % in Southeast and Eastern Europe.

“Against the backdrop of a difficult market environment as well as inflation-related cost increases, the company performed very well in the first quarter of the year, generating both revenue and earnings increases,” says Austrian Post CEO Georg Pölzl. Total Group revenue in the first quarter of 2024 increased by 14.1 % to EUR 758.6m and showed improvements in all divisions. Mail Division revenue equalled EUR 315.6m (+2.3 %) and was impacted by the structural decline of addressed letter mail volumes and a decrease in the direct mail business. However, it was positively affected by postal rate adjustments in the letter mail, direct mail and media post segments. The Parcel & Logistics Division generated EUR 402.9m in revenue in the first quarter of the year (+23.2 %; +16.9 % excl. Parcel Türkiye), showing a very positive development in all regions. Revenue of the Retail & Bank Division amounted to EUR 47.2m (+26.0 %). Interest rate developments in recent months positively contributed to divisional revenue.

Earnings also improved in the first quarter of 2024. EBITDA was up by 8.7 % to EUR 103.4m, whereas earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased by 11.4 % to EUR 52.4m. Parcel & Logistics Division earnings increased by 44.9 %, with Parcel Türkiye making a substantial contribution to the earnings improvement. Business in Türkiye continues to be more strongly influenced by inflation and currency translation than in other markets. The Mail Division generated a 3.3 % earnings increase in contrast to the decline of EUR 3.5m in the Retail & Bank Division attributable to one-time IT expenditures for the core banking migration project of bank99. The profit for the period of the Austrian Post Group totalled EUR 41.6m in the reporting period compared to EUR 32.0m in the previous year (+30.1 %). In turn, this equalled earnings per share of EUR 0.59 in the first quarter of 2024 (+28.2 %).

In addition to market challenges, Austrian Post faces inflation-related cost increases for the entire 2024. On the revenue side, this will be dealt with new products and services as well as upward price adjustments. Based on current forecasts, revenue growth in the mid-single-digit range is expected in the 2024 financial year.  Revenue growth on the one hand, but also cost discipline and efficiency on the other, are necessary in order to ensure the stability that Austrian Post is aiming to achieve. In both mail and parcel logistics, Austrian Post is forging ahead with solutions that offer a high level of customer benefits, but which also enable efficient and plannable processes. Austrian Post’s 2024 target is for earnings (EBIT) to be at least at the same level as last year. A slight rise in earnings is possible if the current macroeconomic environment continues in Austrian Post’s markets.

The planned investment programme remains a top priority alongside revenue generation and cost discipline. Investments in the coming years will focus on expanding international logistics as well as e-mobility. For example, the company aims to ensure CO2-free last mile delivery in Austria by 2030. Austrian Post expects investments in 2024 in total of EUR 140–160m in order to secure sustainability and growth.

“We are extremely grateful to our employees for their commitment and joint efforts to work on providing first-class service to our customers,” concludes CEO Georg Pölzl.

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