PostNord eyes more acquisitions in logistics business

Swedish-Danish postal operators PostNord are planning further acquisitions in the logistics business as it continues to reshape itself according to key growth potential. The parent company of Post Danmark and Sweden’s Posten held its Annual General Meeting last week, in which chief executive Lars Idermark laid out his strategy up to 2015 for dealing with the “extraordinary change” in the industry.

After a “satisfactory” 2011, mail volumes are developing as expected in the first quarter of 2012 for PostNord, though the general decline in traditional letters is anticipated to continue.

Idermark said “substantial adjustments” would continue to be made in the mail business, including investment in production processes to improve efficiency, flexibility and profitability. Service quality levels did improve in 2011, as well as for the first quarter of 2012, a factor the CEO said was “crucial” to PostNord.

But while improving the “fundamentals” of the mail business, the PostNord CEO said his company would be pushing for growth by building on the firm’s “strong position” in the Nordic logistics business.

“We will broaden our offering and our market presence, both organically and through acquisitions,” he said, “with the objective of becoming a leading logistics player in select areas in the Nordic region.”

Since PostNord rebranded from Posten Norden last April, the company has bought regional logistics businesses including Norway’s Eek Transport, Swedish firm NH Logistics, and last month one of Sweden’s largest third party logistics firms, Green Cargo Logistics. Last week, the company signed a deal to buy the newspaper distribution operations of publishers MittMedia and Västerbottens-Kuriren.

During the same time, the company has been trimming non-core areas of the business, including its Belgian and Dutch overnight delivery companies HIT Belgium SA and HIT Starintex B.V. as well as control of its packaging and labeling unit Strålfors Identification Solutions.

Appointments

During the AGM last week, seven members of the PostNord board were re-elected, while the Swedish finance ministry official Jonas Iversen was elected as an eighth member of the board. Fritz H Schur was re-elected as chairman of the board.

Operationally, PostNord also announced today that its current head of Danish production and transport, Henning Christensen, is being promoted to head up the whole of PostNord’s Danish mail business, Breve Danmark.

The promotion will see Christensen becoming part of PostNord’s Group Management team and Post Danmark’s executive management team.

Idermark said: “I am extremely pleased that Henning Christensen is taking over leadership of the Danish mail operations, and I am entirely confident that this will be done with results on par with previous levels.”

Breve Danmark’s current head, Finn Hansen, will be spearheading a new “EFQM” operating control model for the whole PostNord group, extending a model that has been successfully implemented in Denmark for several years throughout the group.

“Extensive changes were made to the Danish mail operations under Finn Hansen’s leadership, with excellent results,” said Idermark. “He is therefore in a good position to solve the tasks involved with implementation of the new operating model.

“The model focuses on commitment, customer focus, leadership and employeeship, and creates good opportunities to further develop the business in a way that benefits customers, employees and our owners,” added the PostNord chief.

  • Last week’s meeting also agreed a SEK 0.18 per share dividend for shareholders, which would total SEK 368m ($55m USD).

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