“Solid” results for bpost, says Thijs

Belgian national operator bpost described its financial results for 2010 as “solid” – with sales figures for the year up by 3%. The company – which rebranded last year after formerly operating under the name of De Post-La Poste – said that sales figures rose from EUR 2.25bn to EUR 2.317bn.

Furthermore, EBIT increased from EUR 240.1m to EUR 319.2m.

The company did see a drop in net income against 2009 levels (2010: EUR 209.6m, 2009: EUR 290.9m), however, normalised net income for the period stood at EUR 207.5m, compared to 2009’s figure of EUR 163.1m.

Despite “convincing operational results” in 2010, bpost’s CEO Johnny Thijs called for “vigilance” in light of pressure to mail volumes as a result of the liberalisation of the European postal market, which came into effect on 1 January this year.

Thijs communicated the results to his staff, after they were approved by the Board of Directors. The General Assembly of Shareholders is set to approve the results on 20 April.

According to bpost, the positive trend in operating results was a result of the economic recovery in Belgium and abroad, as well as the company’s efforts to develop new revenue streams through new end-to-end solutions and financial services.

Furthermore, the company also cited a reduction of expenses due to improved productivity, and the absence of a delayed inflation in 2009.

Service quality over 2010 also rose to a record high – from 95.3% of items being delivered on time, compared to 94.8% in 2009.

The average waiting time at post office branches also improved. For the first time, the target that 80% of clients would be served within five minutes was exceeded (81%).

Concerning the outlook for 2011, Thijs said: “Whilst the decline in the volume of letters was limited to less than 1% in 2010, we recorded the largest decline in shipments over the past three months.

“The implementation of the Strategic Plan 2011-2015, which reflects this precipitous drop in volumes, is therefore crucial. We will ensure that it proceeds in respect of social dialogue, without layoffs and providing social support up to all affected employees.”

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