Press Release

Q3 figures: Results in line with expectations in a challenging market

In the first three quarters of 2019, Swiss Post achieved a Group profit of 263 million francs, which is 54 million francs lower than in the previous year. The decisive factor behind this downturn are the challenging market conditions, resulting in a reduction in interest income at PostFinance of 129 million francs.

In the past, PostFinance and PostMail made the greatest contribution to good results at Swiss Post, but the operating framework has been difficult in both of these areas. Due to improvements in efficiency, PostMail was able to achieve a positive result despite the ongoing decline in letter volumes. PostFinance is also making great efforts, but continued low interest rates are having an impact on the Group result and can no longer be offset by other income or efficiency measures in the longer term. This includes increased parcel volumes. While these volumes are encouraging, Swiss Post is engaged in fierce competition in the parcel delivery market and can only handle the large volume of parcels thanks to high investments in infrastructure. “As expected, the third quarter results were lower year-on-year. This reflects developments in a challenging market. However, thanks to intensive efforts in all business areas, results have not declined to the same extent as the deterioration in general conditions”, says Alex Glanzmann, CFO of Swiss Post. Swiss Post is following the debate on the lifting of the lending prohibition initiated by the Federal Council with great interest. Against the backdrop of these significant challenges, Swiss Post is also looking for opportunities to tap into new sources of income. “We want to continue to finance the universal service from our own resources in the future, but this is questionable in the medium term given the difficult operating framework”, says Glanzmann.

Increased parcel volumes

The parcel volume processed by Swiss Post has increased again by 7 percent. Swiss Post already delivers over half a million parcels on average each working day. Yet the parcel delivery market is experiencing severe pressure on pricing as a result of fierce competition. The constant increase in parcel volumes also requires substantial investment in new parcel centers. For this reason, operating profit at PostLogistics decreased by 5 million to 96 million francs. At 1,251 million francs, operating income was 32 million francs up on the previous year, however. Long-term investments in new regional parcel centers are significantly improving logistics processes. For example, the recently opened parcel center in Cadenazzo (TI) has relieved the workload for the center in Härkingen (SO).

Falling letter volumes

Although letter volumes fell again by 4.5 percent, PostMail achieved an operating profit of 257 million francs in the first nine months of the year, exceeding the previous year’s figure by 4 million francs. The main reason for this success is that PostMail was able to reduce its operating expenses by 81 million francs, even though operating income was 77 million francs lower than in the previous year, not least due to falling letter volumes. The example of letter post demonstrates particularly clearly the importance of the daily commitment shown by employees. However, the optimization potential for PostMail to compensate for lower revenues is continually decreasing due to falling letter and newspaper volumes.

A high level of employee commitment

The fact that Swiss Post's operating profit (EBIT) was down by 22 million on the previous year at 371 million francs is due in particular to the persistently difficult interest rate situation at PostFinance and the difficult situation in terms of volumes and competition in the other markets. This development has been apparent for years, and Swiss Post has repeatedly addressed the issue and resisted it as far as possible. The commitment shown by Swiss Post staff is demonstrated by the results in other areas such as PostalNetwork. Here, it has been possible to massively reduce the deficit in recent years. The operating result at PostalNetwork is currently –103 million francs. While this is about 9 million francs lower than in the same period of the previous year, this is due to provisions for announced restructuring. Once again, Swiss Post Solutions made a positive contribution, steadily improving its operating profit and increasing it again by 14 percent (3 million francs) to 25 million francs year-on-year. Operating income rose by 16 million francs to 445 million francs.

Travelling by Postbus increasingly popular

The comprehensive public transport service from PostBus is enjoying increasing passenger demand, which is also due to the addition of further timetabled services. Operating income rose by 2 percent year-on-year. Due to the non-recurring repayment of excess subsidies to purchasers, the operating result improved by 12 million francs year-on-year to –8 million francs. With the sale of CarPostal France to Keolis S.A., at the end of September 2019, Swiss Post ended its commitments to PostBus in France and is shifting its focus to the Swiss market and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Information

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

Group key figures
Unit
Full year 2018
Q3 2018
Q3 2019
Group key figures
Operating income
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
7'268
Q3 2018
5'390
Q3 2019
5'307
Group key figures
Operating profit (EBIT)
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
507
Q3 2018
393
Q3 2019
371
Group key figures
Group profit
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
405
Q3 2018
317
Q3 2019
263
Group key figures
Total assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
124'202
Q3 2018
128'108
Q3 2019
123'553
Group key figures
Equity
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
6'732
Q3 2018
6'993
Q3 2019
7'014
Group key figures
Investments
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2018
412
Q3 2018
275
Q3 2019
305
Group key figures
Headcount at Swiss Post Group 
Unit
FTEs
Full year 2018
39'932
Q3 2018
39'928
Q3 2019
39'523
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Unit
Full year2018
Q3 2018
Q3 2019
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Number of customers
Unit
In thousands
Full year2018
2'857
Q3 2018
2'880
Q3 2019
2'764
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Customer assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year2018
118'943
Q3 2018
121'070
Q3 2019
117'511
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Customer assets in partner solutions
Unit
CHF million
Full year2018
10'074
Q3 2018
10'497
Q3 2019
11'610
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Mortgages
Unit
CHF million
Full year2018
5'816
Q3 2018
5'789
Q3 2019
5'944
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Development of customer assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year2018
-854
Q3 2018
1'273
Q3 2019
-1'432
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Headcount
Unit
FTEs
Full year2018
3'325
Q3 2018
3'346
Q3 2019
3'238

Selected key figures per segment

Operating income (CHF million) Segment 30. 09. 2018 30. 09. 2019
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostMail
30. 09. 2018
1’989
30. 09. 2019
1’912
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
Swiss Post Solutions
30. 09. 2018
429
30. 09. 2019
445
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostalNetwork
30. 09. 2018
543
30. 09. 2019
503
Operating income (CHF million)
Logistics market
Segment
PostLogistics
30. 09. 2018
1’219
30. 09. 2019
1’251
Operating income (CHF million)
Financial services market
Segment
PostFinance
30. 09. 2018
1’315
30. 09. 2019
1’245
Operating income (CHF million)
Passenger transport market
Segment
PostBus
30. 09. 2018
620
30. 09. 2019
632

 

Operating profit (CHF million) Segment 30. 09. 2018 30. 09. 2019
Operating profit The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostMail
30. 09. 2018
253
30. 09. 2019
257
Operating profit The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
Swiss Post Solutions
30. 09. 2018
22
30. 09. 2019
25
Operating profit The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostalNetwork
30. 09. 2018
-94
30. 09. 2019
-103
Operating profit The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Logistics market
Segment
PostLogistics
30. 09. 2018
101
30. 09. 2019
96
Operating profit The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Financial services market
Segment
PostFinance
30. 09. 2018
218
30. 09. 2019
207
Operating profit The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Passenger transport market
Segment
PostBus
30. 09. 2018
-20
30. 09. 2019
-8