Press Release

Q3 2018: Quarterly figures confirm Swiss Post’s forecasts

Swiss Post achieved good results in many units again in the third quarter of 2018. At 317 million francs, Group profit, however, was down 186 million francs year-on-year, confirming Swiss Post’s forecasts. The difficult operating framework at PostFinance and corrections at PostBus are the main factors which continue to impact Group figures. This is also reflected in the operating profit (EBIT) of 384 million francs.

At PostBus, operating profit in the third quarter fell by 47 million francs year-on-year. This was mainly due to the agreement with the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) regarding the reimbursement of compensatory payments received unjustly. There has been no change in the difficult situation at PostFinance seen over several quarters: in a market environment with low and in some cases negative interest rates, revenue from interest operations is continuously declining at PostFinance. The lending prohibition makes it impossible for PostFinance to stabilize its interest margins in this context. “This situation is leading to a slump in profits at PostFinance, which in turn affects the Group result – not only in the third quarter, but on an ongoing basis. Swiss Post therefore welcomes the policy decision taken by the Federal Council to lift the ban on PostFinance issuing its own loans and mortgages”, explains Alex Glanzmann, Head of Finance and a Member of Executive Management.

Contributions by the business units

PostMail recorded an operating profit of 253 million francs for the first three quarters of 2018, exceeding the prior-year figure by 9 million francs. As the volume of addressed letters falls by an average of 3 percent per year, and the number of newspaper subscriptions has also decreased, operating income at PostMail is also declining. Operating profit was exceeded slightly thanks to a more profitable import business and successful efficiency measures. PostMail thereby makes a substantial contribution to the Group result which has remained constant over the years.

Swiss Post Solutions posted operating profit of 22 million francs, which was 1 million francs higher than the previous year’s level. At 429 million francs, operating income was 27 million francs up on the previous year, partly due to very positive new business. Since June 2018 the new business unit HR services and travel expense management acquired via inorganic growth has also contributed to the good result.

PostalNetwork offset the losses in its core business of letters and inpayments through network development and the consistent adaptation of resources, combined with efficiency increases. Although customer frequency and hence over-the-counter transactions in the branches continue to decline, the operating result at PostalNetwork rose significantly by 36 million francs year-on-year to –94 million francs.

In the highly competitive logistics market PostLogistics posted operating profit of 101 million francs, which was 17 million francs higher than the prior-year figure. Parcel volumes carried by PostLogistics rose by 6.7 percent and were therefore largely responsible for this positive profit trend. The freight and warehousing units were also optimized, which had a positive impact.

Ongoing decline in operating profit at PostFinance

PostFinance recorded an operating profit of 218 million francs, representing a decrease of 315 million francs year-on-year. Operating income was down 277 million francs to 1,315 million francs, This is mainly due to non-recurring one-off capital gains of 109 million francs from the sale of shares in the previous year and the current market-related lower interest income, which decreased by 114 million francs. The negative trend in results at PostFinance which has been seen for several quarters therefore continued.

Drop in results at PostBus

At PostBus, the operating result fell by 47 million francs year-on-year. This was mainly due to the agreement with the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) regarding the reimbursement of compensatory payments received unjustly in previous years. An impairment loss on intangible assets (–10 million francs) and property, plant and equipment (–4 million francs) also weighed on the operating result in the first three quarters. Additional expenses were incurred to settle a legal dispute in France (–7 million francs).

Swiss Post is tackling challenges

Swiss Post is tackling the challenges it faces and has introduced a range of effective measures. Good progress has been made in the restructuring of the postal network, and the deficit in the network has been successively reduced. Constant improvements are underway not only in the network, but also in all Swiss Post units. This is essential to enable Swiss Post to continue to finance the universal postal service and its investments from its own resources.

Information

François Furer, Swiss Post Media Unit, +41 58 341 19 47, presse@swisspost.ch

Group key figures
Unit
Full year 2017
Q3 2017
Q3 2018
Group key figures
Operating income
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2017
8'006
Q3 2017
5'942
Q3 2018
5'670
Group key figures
Operating profit (EBIT)  
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2017
660
Q3 2017
686
Q3 2018
384
Group key figures
as % of operating income
Unit
%
Full year 2017
8,2
Q3 2017
11.5
Q3 2018
6.8
Group key figures
Group profit
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2017
480
Q3 2017
503
Q3 2018
317
Group key figures
Total assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2017
127'421
Q3 2017
126'850
Q3 2018
128'262
Group key figures
Equity
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2017
6'569
Q3 2017
6'396
Q3 2018
6'978
Group key figures
Cash flow from investing activities
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2017
–547
Q3 2017
–464
Q3 2018
–190
Group key figures
Headcount at Swiss Post Group 
Unit
FTEs 
Full year 2017
42'316
Q3 2017
42'394
Q3 2018
41'629
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Unit
Full year 2017
Q3 2017
Q3 2018
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Number of customers
Unit
In thousands
Full year 2017
2'890
Q3 2017
2'898
Q3 2018
2'880
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Customer assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2017
119'797
Q3 2017
118'810
Q3 2018
121'070
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Customer assets in partner solutions
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2017
9'968
Q3 2017
9'402
Q3 2018
10'497
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Mortgages 
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2017
5'650
Q3 2017
5'588
Q3 2018
5'789
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Development of customer deposits 
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2017
-611
Q3 2017
-1'328
Q3 2018
905
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Headcount
Unit
FTEs
Full year 2017
3'474
Q3 2017
3'491
Q3 2018
3'346

Selected key figures per segment

Operating income (CHF million) Segment
30. 09. 2017 30. 09. 2018
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostMail
30. 09. 2017
2'076
30. 09. 2018
1'989
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
Swiss Post Solutions
30. 09. 2017
402
30. 09. 2018
492
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostalNetwork
30. 09. 2017
767
30. 09. 2018
729
Operating income (CHF million)
Logistics market
Segment
PostLogistics
30. 09. 2017
1'175
30. 09. 2018
1'219
Operating income (CHF million)
Financial services market
Segment
PostFinance
30. 09. 2017
1'592
30. 09. 2018
1'315
Operating income (CHF million)
Passenger transport market
Segment
PostBus
30. 09. 2017
683
30. 09. 2018
714

Operating profit  (CHF million)
Segment
30. 09. 2017 30. 09. 2018
Operating profit  (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostMail
30. 09. 2017
244
30. 09. 2018
253
Operating profit  (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
Swiss Post Solutions
30. 09. 2017
21
30. 09. 2018
22
Operating profit  (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostalNetwork
30. 09. 2017
-130
30. 09. 2018
-94
Operating profit  (CHF million)
Logistics market
Segment
PostLogistics
30. 09. 2017
84
30. 09. 2018
101
Operating profit  (CHF million)
Financial services market
Segment
PostFinance
30. 09. 2017
533
30. 09. 2018
218
Operating profit  (CHF million)
Passenger transport market
Segment
PostBus
30. 09. 2017
18
30. 09. 2018
-29