Swiss Post’s result for the first three quarters of 2020 is down year-on-year. At the same time, however, it appears to be stabilizing somewhat, which means that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Swiss Post’s finances at the end of the year may be less severe than expected after the second quarter. The annual result is now largely dependent on how the pandemic continues to develop and on business over the festive season.
In the period to the end of September 2020, Swiss Post generated Group profit of 136 million francs. That is 127 million francs less than the prior-year period. Operating profit (EBIT) in the first three quarters was 176 million francs, 195 million less than the same period in 2019. Operating income is also down. At 5,113 million francs, it is 187 million francs lower than in the previous year.
The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are also weighing on Swiss Post’s result. The significantly lower third-quarter result reflects the ongoing pressure on relevant value drivers at Swiss Post – letter volumes, over-the-counter transactions and interest rates. In the letter business, the volume of addressed letters fell by 6.8 percent compared to 2019, in payment transactions, there were 14.9 percent fewer over-the-counter payments, and PostFinance’s interest income was down 25 million francs year-on-year. While these three key figures have been declining for some time now, the negative trend was to some extent further exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis. At the same time, growing parcel volumes cannot offset the negative effects in the other business units (see box).