Press Release

Q3 2017: Swiss Post achieves good result in difficult environment

In the first nine months of 2017, Swiss Post achieved Group profit of 516 million francs, which represents an increase of 50 million francs year-on-year. The operating profit of 699 million francs was 106 million francs up on the prior-year figure. The improved result was principally due to one-off effects at PostFinance. Pressure remains high on the core operating business.

The volume of addressed letters decreased once again, while over-the-counter logistics products and payment transactions also suffered a further decline. In addition, the ongoing low interest rate situation in the financial services market is having a negative impact on interest income.  For Swiss Post, this means that it must push ahead with its transformation in order to remain competitive in the future and to be able to finance a high-quality universal service from its own resources.

The PostalNetwork business unit improved its operating result by 26 million francs year-on-year to –130 million francs thanks to changes in the branch network. Operating profit at PostMail was up 9 million francs to 244 million francs thanks to optimized process and cost structures. In doing so, PostMail once again made a substantial contribution to the Group result. Swiss Post Solutions also increased its contribution to results by 6 million to 21 million francs.

PostLogistics recorded an operating profit of 84 million francs (previous year: 73 million francs). This positive trend is mainly due to a 6.3 percent rise in domestic parcel volumes (previous year: +5.1 percent) and acquisitions of companies in the international transport and customs clearance sector. The logistics market, which has been fully deregulated since 2004, remains highly competitive. The Swiss domestic market in particular is increasingly seeing foreign service providers and competitors from the digital field. 

PostBus increased its operating profit by one million francs to 31 million francs. This was primarily due to higher transport revenue and transport-related remuneration following the expansion of services in Switzerland.

Higher operating profit at PostFinance

In the first nine months of the year, PostFinance generated operating profit of 533 million francs, 123 million more than in the previous year. This rise was essentially attributable to reversals of impairment on financial assets after impairment losses were incurred the previous year (effect: +109 million francs). The higher level of net trading income (+28 million francs) and declining personnel expenses (+17 million francs) also contributed to the improved result. PostFinance continues to face a difficult market environment, particularly due to its competitive disadvantage in loans and mortgage lending. Net income from the interest differential business alone, the most important pillar, was down 89 million francs due to a lack of profitable investment opportunities.

Only solid profits lead to investments

Swiss Post relies on financial stability to be able to guarantee the universal service, to continually develop its core business, and to tap into growth areas. To be fit for the future, annual investments of between 400 and 500 million francs are needed in the modernization of its infrastructure and services, as well as consistent cost management and efficient processes.

Three major challenges, which Swiss Post has faced for some time now, remain in the background at all times: the decline in letter volumes, falling margins in the logistics business as a result of growing competition as well as the ban on issuing its own loans and the ongoing low interest rate situation. 

Information

Oliver Flüeler, Swiss Post Media Unit, +41 58 341 21 95, presse@swisspost.ch

Group key figures
Unit
Full year 2016
Q3 2016
Q3 2017
Group key figures
Operating income
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
8'188
Q3 2016
6'039
Q3 2017
5'963
Group key figures
Operating profit (EBIT)  
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
704
Q3 2016
593
Q3 2017
699
Group key figures
as % of operating income
Unit
%
Full year 2016
8,6
Q3 2016
9,8
Q3 2017
11,7
Group key figures
Group profit
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
558
Q3 2016
466
Q3 2017
516
Group key figures
Total assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
126'609
Q3 2016
128'943
Q3 2017
126'838
Group key figures
Equity
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
4'881
Q3 2016
4'409
Q3 2017
6'558
Group key figures
Cash flow from investing activities
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
–509
Q3 2016
–434
Q3 2017
–464
Group key figures
Headcount at Swiss Post Group 
Unit
FTEs 
Full year 2016
43'485
Q3 2016
43'600
Q3 2017
42'394
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Unit
Full year 2016
Q3 2016
Q3 2017
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Number of customers
Unit
In thousands
Full year 2016
2'952
Q3 2016
2'951
Q3 2017
2'898
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Number of customer accounts
Unit
In thousands
Full year 2016
4'845 
Q3 2016
4'850
Q3 2017
4'815
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Customer assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
119'436 
Q3 2016
120'381 
Q3 2017
118'810
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Customer assets in partner solutions
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
8'246 
Q3 2016
7'956
Q3 2017
9'402
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Mortgages 
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
5'361
Q3 2016
5'243
Q3 2017
5'588
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Loans to business customers
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2016
9'894
Q3 2016
9'372
Q3 2017
10'103
PostFinance Ltd key figures
E-finance users
Unit
In thousands
Full year 2016
1'743
Q3 2016
1'736
Q3 2017
1'744
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Headcount
Unit
FTEs
Full year 2016
3'599
Q3 2016
3'612
Q3 2017
3'491
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Transactions processed
Unit
In millions
Full year 2016
1'044
Q3 2016
768
Q3 2017
754

Selected key figures per segment

Operating income (CHF million) Segment
30. 09. 2016 30. 09. 2017
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostMail
30. 09. 2016
2'149
30. 09. 2017
2'076
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
Swiss Post Solutions
30. 09. 2016
416
30. 09. 2017
402
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostalNetwork
30. 09. 2016
828
30. 09. 2017
767
Operating income (CHF million)
Logistics market
Segment
PostLogistics
30. 09. 2016
1'144
30. 09. 2017
1'175
Operating income (CHF million)
Financial services market
Segment
PostFinance
30. 09. 2016
1'638
30. 09. 2017
1'599
Operating income (CHF million)
Passenger transport market
Segment
PostBus
30. 09. 2016
684
30. 09. 2017
697

Operating profit  (CHF million)
Segment
30. 09. 2016 30. 09. 2017
Operating profit  (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostMail
30. 09. 2016
235
30. 09. 2017
244
Operating profit  (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
Swiss Post Solutions
30. 09. 2016
15
30. 09. 2017
21
Operating profit  (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostalNetwork
30. 09. 2016
-156
30. 09. 2017
-130
Operating profit  (CHF million)
Logistics market
Segment
PostLogistics
30. 09. 2016
73
30. 09. 2017
84
Operating profit  (CHF million)
Financial services market
Segment
PostFinance
30. 09. 2016
410
30. 09. 2017
533
Operating profit  (CHF million)
Passenger transport market
Segment
PostBus
30. 09. 2016
30
30. 09. 2017
31