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 figuresOperating income UnitCHF million Full year 20168’188 Q1 20162’069 Q2 20172’125
Group key figuresOperating profit (EBIT) 1 UnitCHF million Full year 2016704 Q1 2016207 Q2 2017333
Group key figuresAs a % of operating income (EBIT return) Unit% Full year 20168,6 Q1 201610,0 Q2 2017 
Group key figuresGroup profit UnitCHF million Full year 2016558 Q1 2016192 Q2 2017267
Group key figuresTotal assets UnitCHF million Full year 2016126’689 Q1 2016125’920 Q2 2017127’714
Group key figuresEquity UnitCHF million Full year 20164’881 Q1 20164’723 Q2 20175’071
Group key figuresCash flow from investing activities UnitCHF million Full year 2016-509 Q1 2016-58 Q2 201712
Group key figuresHeadcount at Swiss Post Group UnitFTEs 2 Full year 201643’485 Q1 201643’796 Q2 201742’605

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 figuresNumber of customers (in thousands) Full year 20162’952 Q1 20162’941 Q2 20172’938
PostFinance Ltd key figuresNumber of customer accounts (in thousands) Full year 20164’845 Q1 20164’846 Q2 20174’825
PostFinance Ltd key figuresCustomer assets (CHF million) Full year 2016119’436 Q1 2016116’503 Q2 201712’679
PostFinance Ltd key figuresCustomer assets in partner solutions (CHF million) Full year 20168’246 Q1 20167’832 Q2 20178’847
PostFinance Ltd key figuresMortgages (CHF million) 1 Full year 20165’361 Q1 20165’130 Q2 20175’434
PostFinance Ltd key figuresLoans to business customers (CHF million) Full year 20169’894 Q1 20169’041 Q2 201710’026
PostFinance Ltd key figuresE-finance users (in thousands) Full year 20161’743 Q1 20161’702 Q2 20171’752
PostFinance Ltd key figuresHeadcount (FTEs) 2 Full year 20163’599 Q1 20163’635 Q2 20173’527
PostFinance Ltd key figuresProcessed transactions (million) Full year 20161’044 Q1 2016254 Q2 2017264

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 unitPostMail 31. March 2016761  31. March 2017738 
Communication market (CHF million)Communication market Group unitSwiss Post Solutions 31. March 2016146  31. March 2017138 
Communication market (CHF million)Communication market Group unitPost Offices & Sales 31. March 2016308  31. March 2017293 
Communication market (CHF million)Logistics market Group unitPostLogistics 31. March 2016381  31. March 2017392 
Communication market (CHF million)Financial services market Group unitPostFinance 31. March 2016514  31. March 2017600 
Communication market (CHF million)Passenger transport market Group unitPostBus 31. March 2016231  31. March 2017229 

Operating profit1 (CHF million) Group unit 31. March 2016 31. March 2017
Operating profit1 (CHF million)Communication market Group unitPostMail 31. March 2016112  31. March 2017105 
Operating profit1 (CHF million)Communication market Group unitSwiss Post Solutions 31. March 2016 31. March 2017
Operating profit1 (CHF million)Communication market Group unitPost Offices & Sales 31. March 2016-46  31. March 2017-46 
Operating profit1 (CHF million)Logistics market Group unitPostLogistics 31. March 201624  31. March 201727 
Operating profit1 (CHF million)Financial services market Group unitPostFinance 31. March 2016102  31. March 2017239 
Operating profit1 (CHF million)Passenger transport market Group unitPostBus 31. March 201614  31. March 201710 

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