Press Release

Annual result 2008 PostFinance posts record growth and solid result

PostFinance enjoys a high level of confidence among its customers. In 2008 it posted unprecedented growth. 120,000 customers decided to do business with PostFinance last year. The financial arm of Swiss Post also increased the number of customer accounts by 311,000, and the inflow of new money totalled CHF 5.9 billion on average over the year. Profit amounts to around CHF 235 million. Given the financial crisis and the necessary writedowns, the result is solid.

PostFinance is a secure financial institution that enjoys a high level of confidence among the Swiss public and in the corporate sector. In 2008 it posted growth at an unprecedented level. The financial arm of Swiss Post acquired 120,000 new customers last year and raised the number of accounts by 311,000. Compared with the record year 2007, this corresponds to a 55% increase in new customers (2007: 77,000) and growth of as much as 71% for accounts (2007: 182,000). Thanks to the considerable inflow of new money of CHF 5.9 bn on average (2007: CHF 3.4 bn), customer deposits increased to CHF 49.3 bn on average for the year. This corresponds to a 12.8% increase. At the end of 2008, customer deposits amounted to CHF 64.2 bn as a result of the extraordinarily strong fourth quarter. Last year, PostFinance created 180 new full-time jobs in Switzerland.

A good result in a difficult market environment

The impressive growth figures are supplemented by solid profit. PostFinance posted a result of around CHF 235 m in an extremely difficult market environment (details on the result will be communicated at the Swiss Post press conference at the end of March). Owing to writedowns of some CHF 179 m, the profit is lower than in the record year 2007 (corporate profit EBT: CHF 327 m). The value of the equity portfolio had to be adjusted by CHF 59 million and that of fixed-interest investments by CHF 120 million. Writedowns are book values that can have a positive impact on the result and the equity capital again when the financial markets recover.

Reducing risks for the owner and seizing the opportunity for SMEs

PostFinance manages customer deposits of more than CHF 50 billion, which it invests on the international money and capital markets. It has pursued a risk-conscious investment strategy for years, mainly in bonds. Nevertheless, PostFinance has to take on higher risks than if it were able to invest customer deposits in its own Swiss loans. It is not permitted to do this at the moment. If it were allowed to grant its own mortgages and SME loans, PostFinance could diversify its financial investments more broadly and thus lower the risks for its owner – the Confederation. Moreover, it could revive competition in the SME segment with its own loans. Demand is high, especially at small companies, as the 25,000 consultations conducted by PostFinance in 2008 show. The opportunity should be seized to provide the Swiss economy with PostFinance customer deposits in the form of loans. The subject of PostFinance's further development will probably be addressed in/iament this year as part of the postal legislation reform.

PostFinance is secure and continues to create new jobs

PostFinance is still a healthy and secure financial institution. It is liquid and does not have any financing or capital sourcing concerns. PostFinance is confident about the trend in 2009. The high level of customer deposits and the targeted growth are a good basis for increasing the result, which depends on how the financial crisis continues and the interest rate trend. PostFinance will again create 120 new full-time jobs throughout Switzerland this year.

The results for Swiss Post and its Group units will be communicated at the press conference on 25 March 2009.

Key figures for PostFinance 2008 2007 Change
Key figures for PostFinance
No. of customers (thousands)
2008
2,505
2007
2,385
Change
+ 120,000
Key figures for PostFinance
Number of customer accounts (thousands)
2008
3,646
2007
3,335
Change
+ 311,000
Key figures for PostFinance
Customer deposits (CHF m, avg. for the year)
2008
49,265
2007
43,667
Change
+ 5.598 million
Key figures for PostFinance
Customer deposits (CHF m, end of the year)
2008
64,238
2007
51,491
Change
+ 12,747 million
Key figures for PostFinance
Influx of new money (CHF m, avg. for the year)
2008
5,941
2007
3,409
Change
+ 2.532 million
Key figures for PostFinance
Volume of funds and securities (CHF m)
2008
2,412
2007
2,818
Change
-406 million
Key figures for PostFinance
E-trading volume (CHF m)
2008
1,032
2007
1,089
Change
-57 million
Key figures for PostFinance
Volume of mortgages for private customers (CHF m)
2008
2,040
2007
1,944
Change
+ 96 million
Key figures for PostFinance
Volume of loans to business customers (CHF m)
2008
4,313
2007
3,160
Change
+ 1.153 million
Key figures for PostFinance
E-finance users
2008
984,600
2007
858,600
Change
+ 126,000
Key figures for PostFinance
E-trading users
2008
30,900
2007
20,800
Change
+ 10,100
Key figures for PostFinance
Headcount (annual average)
2008
2,889
2007
2,709
Change
+ 180
Key figures for PostFinance
Processed transactions (in millions)
2008
843
2007
823
Change
+20 million