Press Release

1st quarter 2017: Swiss Post off to a good start

In the first quarter of 2017, Swiss Post generated Group profit of 267 million francs, representing an increase of 75 million francs year-on-year. Operating profit (EBIT) rose by 126 million francs to 333 million francs. This increase was mainly due to capital gains realized on the sale of two equity portfolios at PostFinance. The result was also boosted by ongoing efficiency measures in the core business and the further development of our services.

In the first three months of 2017, Swiss Post generated Group profit of 267 million francs (previous year: 192 million francs). Operating profit (EBIT) rose from 207 million francs to 333 million francs. This increase was principally due to one-off capital gains realized on the sale of two equity portfolios in the financial services market. Operating income rose slightly by 2.7 percent to 2,125 million francs.

“The result achieved in the first quarter shows that the efficiency measures we have introduced are taking effect, as is the further development of our services”, said Susanne Ruoff, Swiss Post CEO. “Despite the good start, the transformation of Swiss Post is still an ongoing, long-term task, as pressure on the Group units remains high due to structural changes in the market environment”.

Letter business continues to decline

In the first quarter of 2017, PostMail achieved an operating profit of 105 million francs, down 7 million francs year-on-year. In general, the decline in volumes was lower than that of the previous year due to the two additional working days. The number of addressed letters was 1.9 percent lower year-on-year (previous year: -3.3 percent). Newspaper delivery volumes also fell by 1.9 percent (previous year: -2.3). The decline in operating expenses at PostMail could not fully offset the fall in operating income to 738 million francs (previous year: 761 million francs).

Further rise in parcel volumes

PostLogistics posted operating profit of 27 million francs, which was 3 million francs higher than the prior-year figure. The 6.5 percent increase in parcel volumes (previous year: 3.9 percent) was the main factor responsible for this positive profit trend. Operating income rose by 11 million francs to 392 million francs, exceeding the slight increase in expenses. 

Post Offices & Sales equals previous year’s result

Post Offices & Sales generated a result of -46 million francs in the first quarter of 2017. Thanks to the restructuring of the post office network, Swiss Post succeeded in offsetting losses in its core business of letters, parcels and inpayments. Over-the-counter inpayments declined by 4.5 percent. Operating income decreased by 15 million francs year-on-year to 293 million francs.

Significant improvement in operating profit at Swiss Post Solutions

In the first quarter of 2017 Swiss Post Solutions recorded an operating profit of 9 million francs, 50 percent more than in the prior-year period. Operating income was down 8 million francs to 138 million francs. This development was primarily due to the sale of non-strategic activities and the negative exchange rate effect caused by the weak British pound in the United Kingdom. Operating expenses were reduced, not least as a result of measures to increase efficiency and optimization projects.

PostFinance interest income remains under pressure

The ongoing uncertain situation on the national and international financial and capital markets with low and in some cases negative interest rates remains challenging for PostFinance, although it achieved an operating profit of 239 million francs (+137 million francs) in the first quarter of 2017. This rise was mainly attributable to one-off capital gains of 109 million francs realized on the sale of two equity portfolios, and a 51 million franc decline in operating expenses, largely due to lower portfolio impairment losses. The interest differential business remains the most important source of revenue for PostFinance. Interest income fell by 24 million francs. 

Drop in results at PostBus

PostBus achieved an operating profit of 10 million francs, down 4 million francs year-on-year despite a 1.3 percent increase in the number of kilometres covered, with a total of 38.9 million kilometres. This was mainly due to two one-off effects from the previous year which had a positive effect on the first quarter of 2016. In contrast, higher employee benefit expenses and fuel prices had a negative effect on the 2017 result. 

Operating result stabilized by efficiency measures

Without the one-off effect from the sale of equity portfolios, the result for the first quarter of 2017 would be on a par with the previous year, and without the new and ongoing measures for the restructuring of the post office network and the core business, the figures would be slightly below the previous year’s level. Efficiency measures in all Swiss Post units therefore remain a key success factor for maintaining stable operating results. At the same time, as part of its transformation Swiss Post is stepping up its efforts to tap into new sources of income in its various markets. 

Information

Léa Wertheimer
Swiss Post Media Unit
+41 58 341 08 84

Group key figures Unit Full year 2016 Q1 2016 Q2 2017
Group key figures
Operating income
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
8’188
Q1 2016
2’069
Q2 2017
2’125
Group key figures
Operating profit (EBIT)  1
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
704
Q1 2016
207
Q2 2017
333
Group key figures
As a % of operating income (EBIT return)
Unit
%
Full year 2016
8,6
Q1 2016
10,0
Q2 2017
 
Group key figures
Group profit
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
558
Q1 2016
192
Q2 2017
267
Group key figures
Total assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
126’689
Q1 2016
125’920
Q2 2017
127’714
Group key figures
Equity
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
4’881
Q1 2016
4’723
Q2 2017
5’071
Group key figures
Cash flow from investing activities
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
-509
Q1 2016
-58
Q2 2017
12
Group key figures
Headcount at Swiss Post Group
Unit
FTEs  2
Full year 2016
43’485
Q1 2016
43’796
Q2 2017
42’605

1 The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT).

2 FTEs = full-time equivalents. Average expressed in terms of full-time equivalents, excluding trainees.

PostFinance Ltd key figures Full year 2016 Q1 2016 Q2 2017
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Number of customers (in thousands)
Full year 2016
2’952
Q1 2016
2’941
Q2 2017
2’938
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Number of customer accounts (in thousands)
Full year 2016
4’845
Q1 2016
4’846
Q2 2017
4’825
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Customer assets (CHF million)
Full year 2016
119’436
Q1 2016
116’503
Q2 2017
12’679
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Customer assets in partner solutions (CHF million)
Full year 2016
8’246
Q1 2016
7’832
Q2 2017
8’847
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Mortgages (CHF million)  1
Full year 2016
5’361
Q1 2016
5’130
Q2 2017
5’434
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Loans to business customers (CHF million)
Full year 2016
9’894
Q1 2016
9’041
Q2 2017
10’026
PostFinance Ltd key figures
E-finance users (in thousands)
Full year 2016
1’743
Q1 2016
1’702
Q2 2017
1’752
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Headcount (FTEs)  2
Full year 2016
3’599
Q1 2016
3’635
Q2 2017
3’527
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Processed transactions (million)
Full year 2016
1’044
Q1 2016
254
Q2 2017
264

1 In cooperation with partner banks.

2 FTEs = full-time equivalents. Average expressed in terms of full-time equivalents. Headcount at PostFinance parent company.

Selected key figures per segment

Communication market (CHF million) Group unit 31. March 2016 31. March 2017
Communication market (CHF million)
Communication market
Group unit
PostMail
31. March 2016
761 
31. March 2017
738 
Communication market (CHF million)
Communication market
Group unit
Swiss Post Solutions
31. March 2016
146 
31. March 2017
138 
Communication market (CHF million)
Communication market
Group unit
Post Offices & Sales
31. March 2016
308 
31. March 2017
293 
Communication market (CHF million)
Logistics market
Group unit
PostLogistics
31. March 2016
381 
31. March 2017
392 
Communication market (CHF million)
Financial services market
Group unit
PostFinance
31. March 2016
514 
31. March 2017
600 
Communication market (CHF million)
Passenger transport market
Group unit
PostBus
31. March 2016
231 
31. March 2017
229 

Operating profit1 (CHF million) Group unit 31. March 2016 31. March 2017
Operating profit1 (CHF million)
Communication market
Group unit
PostMail
31. March 2016
112 
31. March 2017
105 
Operating profit1 (CHF million)
Communication market
Group unit
Swiss Post Solutions
31. March 2016
31. March 2017
Operating profit1 (CHF million)
Communication market
Group unit
Post Offices & Sales
31. March 2016
-46 
31. March 2017
-46 
Operating profit1 (CHF million)
Logistics market
Group unit
PostLogistics
31. March 2016
24 
31. March 2017
27 
Operating profit1 (CHF million)
Financial services market
Group unit
PostFinance
31. March 2016
102 
31. March 2017
239 
Operating profit1 (CHF million)
Passenger transport market
Group unit
PostBus
31. March 2016
14 
31. March 2017
10 

1 The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT).