Lithuania Post records first annual profit in four years

Lithuania Post earned more than expected last year, achieving its first annual profit since 2007, it said today. Audited data showed that the state-owned postal service in the Baltic Republic turned last year’s LTL 10.2m (EUR 2.95m) loss into a LTL 736,000 (EUR 213,160) net profit in 2011.

Overall revenue increased 5.2% compared to 2010, with the post bringing in more than LTL 183m (EUR 53m) in sales during 2011.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation was LTL 9.4m (EUR 2.7m) in 2011, compared to a negative 1.6m (EUR 463,000) in 2010.

The company said the recovery in Lithuania’s economy last year helped boost demand for its services, with mail volumes increasing compared to 2010 by 4.5%.

The universal service accounted for 49.4% of total sales, but growth came particularly from courier services, which showed a 11.8% improvement in revenue compared to 2010. During the year, Lithuania Post launched its new SIUNTOS24 service, using parcel terminals to allow collection of parcels by consumers 24 hours a day.

Strong growth was also seen in unaddressed direct mail during the year, which boasted a 24% income growth, and from the retail network where sales grew an impressive 45% year-on-year, as the company opened 11 new post office outlets during the year within major supermarkets.

“Gratifying”

Commenting on the year’s results, Lithuania Post chief executive Lina Minderiene said: “It is gratifying to find out that last year we earned more than expected.

“For 2011, we had plans to finish with a net profit of LTL 556,000, and the results showed LTL 736,000 – a 32.4% more than expected. Last year Lithuania Post proceeded with gradual implementation of goals aiming to reduce operational costs and increase income from sales. These were the main reasons that determined our good financial results,” explained Minderiene.

Lithuania Post has had a difficult few years, recording losses since 2007, peaking at a LTL 63m loss (EUR 18.3m) in 2009.

Going forward, the company is planning on continuing its investment in improving its postal network, upgrading its IT systems and optimising the network. It is also planning on launching new services for customers, with particular attention on the development of electronic services, while also looking to strengthen its position in financial and courier services.

Lithuania is expected to fully open its postal markets to competition under EU postal law from the start of next year.

The company’s board president, Rimvydas Vaštakas, said in the latest annual report that LIthuania Post had to consolidate positions where it was strongest, continuing upgrading its postal network and make the company more attractive to customers and businesses.

“We need to invest in new technologies and to build a new logistics centre in order to provide services faster and more efficiently,” he said.

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