Press Release

Interim results for 2019: Swiss Post needs new sources of income

Lower interest income from PostFinance and continually falling letter volumes had an impact on Swiss Post figures in the first half of 2019. With a profit of 193 million francs, the Group’s earnings were 25 million francs lower year-on-year. The operating profit (EBIT) was also lower. Swiss Post Head of Finance, Alex Glanzmann, sees a need for action.

Swiss Post earned a profit of 193 million francs up to mid-2019, 25 million francs lower than in the prior-year period. The operating profit (EBIT) of 269 million francs was also down, falling by 19 million francs in comparison to the first half of 2018. The lower interest income achieved by PostFinance and falling letter volumes are putting Swiss Post’s result under further pressure. As a result of increasing parcel volumes, Swiss Post is also required to invest considerable sums of money in parcel processing by PostLogistics.

Continuing trends

In the wake of the digitization process, fewer and fewer people and companies are sending letters, with volumes falling by 5.5 percent in comparison to the previous year. The trend seen in the last few years is therefore continuing. In the first half of 2019, PostMail nevertheless recorded a stable operating profit by further optimizing its letter processing procedures. In contrast to letter volumes, parcel volumes at PostLogistics are positive: compared to the previous year, customers sent 6.4 percent more parcels using Swiss Post. Yet Swiss Post’s current infrastructure is increasingly reaching its limits due to the high numbers of parcels. Additional costs are being incurred to cope with the growing parcel volumes to the accustomed quality standards. These costs are weighing on the result at PostLogistics. In the long term, Swiss Post is investing in a decentralized parcel processing network and building new parcel centers in Cadenazzo (TI), Vétroz (VS) and Untervaz (GR).

In the second quarter, PostalNetwork once again succeeded in more than offsetting the fall in letter volumes and over-the-counter transactions. It did this by relocating to new access points such as branches with partners, PickPost points and My Post 24 terminals and by implementing efficiency measures. Provisions for announced reorganizations – such as the nationwide team organization of branch employees – weighed considerably on PostalNetwork’s operating result in the first half of 2019. This figure was 13 million francs down year-on-year.

PostFinance generated a stable operating profit despite substantially lower interest income. This was achieved thanks to extraordinary and one-off items. PostFinance achieved a one million franc increase in operating profit year-on-year. Its operating profit stood at 146 million francs for the first half of 2019. In addition to increased commission income and profit on services, improved net trading income based on the market situation and the sale of two interests and a subsidiary helped increase profits. These sales were one-off items, which will not occur again in the coming financial years. Operating income fell by 35 million francs to 846 million francs. This was mainly attributable to an 82 million franc decline in interest income due to the market situation. The current period of negative interest remains a considerable challenge for PostFinance. The fact that it is not permitted to grant credit and mortgages independently makes the problem even more difficult to resolve.

The reorganization is ensuring stability at PostBus. PostBus’s operating profit improved by 12 million francs year-on-year because the prior-year period included repayments to purchaser cantons. Due to impairment on fixed assets, operating profit was negative as in the previous year.

Other sources of income required

Despite the diminished result, Swiss Post nonetheless still has a good financial basis. However, the sources of income from the most profitable Swiss Post units – PostMail and PostFinance – are threatening to evaporate. In light of these developments, Swiss Post has reassessed its financial situation until 2030 with a number of different scenarios. “The result shows that Swiss Post needs new sources of income to be able to continue funding the universal service from its own resources and without taxpayers’ money,” says Alex Glanzmann, Head of Finance at Swiss Post. “If there is no change, Swiss Post will no longer be able to finance the universal service itself in the medium term,” he explains. Swiss Post wants to continue paying for the universal service itself in the future. To this end, it requires a balanced regulatory framework, with the obligations of Swiss Post as a public service company on the one hand and a certain entrepreneurial scope on the other to ensure that Swiss Post remains competitive and able to generate the necessary resources to finance the universal service in the first place.

Interim Report

As part of the restructuring of PostBus, Swiss Post announced this summer its intention to dispose of the CarPostal France Group. Swiss Post has found a buyer for CarPostal France – the French company Keolis S.A., a subsidiary of French Railways (SNCF). The French competition authority now needs to approve the sale of CarPostal France. Swiss Post will publish the full Interim Report The link will open in a new window here as soon as the review is complete.

Alex Glanzmann, Head of Finance at Swiss Post, provides details on the interim result in a short video. You will be able to watch the interview at The link will open in a new window post-medien.ch/en from 10 a.m. today.

Information

Swiss Post Media Unit, Masha Foursova, Media Spokesperson, +41 58 431 49 60, presse@swisspost.ch

Group key figures
Unit
Full year 2018
30.06.2018 30.06.2019
Group key figures
Operating income
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
7,268
30.06.2018
3,660
30.06.2019
3,596
Group key figures
Operating profit (EBIT)
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
507
30.06.2018
288
30.06.2019
269
Group key figures
Group profit
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
405
30.06.2018
218
30.06.2019
193
Group key figures
Total assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
124'202
30.06.2018
132,328
30.06.2019
125,598
Group key figures
Equity
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
6'732
30.06.2018
6,876
30.06.2019
6,962
Group key figures
Investments
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
412
30.06.2018
198
30.06.2019
195
Group key figures
Headcount at Swiss Post Group
Unit
FTEs
Full year 2018
39,932
30.06.2018
39,866
30.06.2019
39,444
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Unit
Full year 2018
30.06.2018 30.06.2019
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Number of customers
Unit
In thousands
Full year 2018
2,857
30.06.2018
2,876
30.06.2019
2,779
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Customer assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
118,943
30.06.2018
122,430
30.06.2019
119,089
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Customer assets in partner solutions
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
10,074
30.06.2018
10,167
30.06.2019
11,424
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Mortgages 
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
5,816
30.06.2018
5,750
30.06.2019
5,905
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Development of customer assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
-822
30.06.2018
2,476
30.06.2019
146
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Headcount
Unit
FTEs
Full year 2018
3,325
30.06.2018
3,377
30.06.2019
3,233

Selected key figures per segment

Operating income (CHF million) Segment 30.06.2018 30.06.2019
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostMail
30.06.2018
1,381
30.06.2019
1,312
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
Swiss Post Solutions
30.06.2018
286
30.06.2019
303
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostalNetwork
30.06.2018
374
30.06.2019
343
Operating income (CHF million)
Logistics market
Segment
PostLogistics
30.06.2018
820
30.06.2019
843
Operating income (CHF million)
Financial services market
Segment
PostFinance
30.06.2018
881
30.06.2019
846
Operating income (CHF million)
Passenger transport market
Segment
PostBus
30.06.2018
408
30.06.2019
414

 

Operating profit  (CHF million) Segmente 30.06.2018 30.06.2019
Operating profit  The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Communication market
Segmente
PostMail
30.06.2018
199
30.06.2019
194
Operating profit  The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Communication market
Segmente
Swiss Post Solutions
30.06.2018
14
30.06.2019
17
Operating profit  The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Communication market
Segmente
PostalNetwork
30.06.2018
-60
30.06.2019
-73
Operating profit  The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Logistics market
Segmente
PostLogistics
30.06.2018
73
30.06.2019
68
Operating profit  The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Financial services market
Segmente
PostFinance
30.06.2018
145
30.06.2019
146
Operating profit  The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Passenger transport market
Segmente
PostBus
30.06.2018
-22
30.06.2019
-10