La Poste to receive EUR 2.7bn modernisation funding

La Poste’s Board has given the go-ahead for the operator to receive EUR 2.7bn capital investment as it prepares for the liberalisation of the postal market. The cash injection will be provided by the state in conjunction with its investment arm Caisse des Depots – which will acquire a 26% stake in the French postal operator in return for its investment.

The state will provide EUR 1.2bn of funding, which will be supplemented by Caisse des Depots (EUR 1.5bn).

The operator will use the funds to push ahead with its major modernisation plans marked out in its ‘Ambition 2015′ strategy, which was adopted in April of last year.

La Poste will receive the capital in three separate installments: EUR 1.05bn this year, EUR 1.05bn in 2012, and EUR 600m in 2013.

The Board of La Poste has granted permission to Jean-Paul Bailly to sign the subscription agreement and has agreed to convene for an extraordinary general meeting, the operator confirmed.

La Poste has became a public limited company in March 2010, and structures its business activities around four areas: mail, parcel / express, La Banque Postale and La Poste.

Each year, the Group said it serves 45m customers and 3.5m business customers, transporting 26bn items per year.

In 2009, the La Poste group achieved a turnover of EUR 20.5bn and employed more than 287,000 workers.

A number of national postal operators are seeking funds to boost modernisation projects in the face of dwindling mail volumes, and the rise of technology throughout the sector.

Despite the need for funding, La Poste’s Quality of Service statistics for 2010 only fell short of record standards due to prolonged periods of bad weather.

The Group said that 83.5% of its priority mail was delivered a day after posting – close to 2009’s record breaking benchmark of 84.7%.

The operator said it was unable to surpass the previous year’s result due to snow and freezing conditions throughout last January and February, as well as at the end of the year. La Poste also put some blame on the fallout from the Icelandic ash cloud crisis in April.

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