News

Quarterly result down as expected – effects of coronavirus crisis significant

Swiss Post generated a lower result in the first quarter of 2020 than in the prior-year period. Group profit fell by 46 million, while operating profit came in at 57 million francs below the comparable figure for 2019. The financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic were already evident in the first three months and are likely to have a significant impact on Swiss Post’s annual result. The extraordinary situation has accelerated relevant developments and shows just how important Swiss Post is to Switzerland – especially in terms of logistics. It is vital that Swiss Post continues to drive forward its transformation to overcome its major, longstanding challenges.

In the first quarter of 2020, Swiss Post generated Group profit of 84 million francs, 46 million francs down on the previous year’s figure. Operating profit (EBIT) for the first quarter came in at 115 million francs, 57 million less than in 2019. The decline in profit is attributable to two main factors: the continued low-interest situation and consequent low net interest income (–18 million francs) at PostFinance and the decline in volumes in the letter business (–5.6 percent) in addressed letters. Parcel volumes rose by 10 percent over the entire first quarter compared to the prior-year period. The rise in orders on online retail sites due to the coronavirus pandemic was clearly evident. In March alone, 16.9 percent more parcels were processed than a year ago.

Higher parcel volumes unable to offset negative effects

The first financial effects of the coronavirus crisis were evident in the result for the first quarter. “And we anticipate that the coronavirus crisis will have a significant impact on the result for the current year,” says Alex Glanzmann, Head of Finance at Swiss Post. Based on initial estimates, Swiss Post expects a negative effect on profit amounting to hundreds of millions of Swiss francs for 2020. However, this is an estimate. More precise forecasts are currently very difficult to make due to the changing economic situation. The sharp decline in letter volumes at PostMail and the shortfall in transport revenue at PostBus will have the greatest negative impact on operating profit (EBIT). Swiss Post has established a sound financial basis over recent years. It can therefore still absorb the negative effects of the coronavirus crisis from its own resources.

The financial consequences of the coronavirus crisis are likely to have an impact on all of Swiss Post’s business units for 2020 – even PostLogistics. While over 800,000 parcels a day were processed on peak days in April during the extraordinary situation, employees had to handle them in accordance with distancing and hygiene regulations which incurred substantial additional costs. Pressure on prices and margins also remains great. This means the higher number of parcels is not fully reflected in an improved result. The growth in parcels does not even begin to offset the negative effects in the other business units.

Employees have made an incredible effort since the start of the coronavirus outbreak to maintain the provision of postal services in Switzerland and to guarantee the universal service nationwide. Swiss Post had invested almost 10 million Swiss francs in their protection at the workplace by the end of April. The immediate bonuses for employees amounted to 10.5 million francs in total.

New strategy addresses challenges

The coronavirus crisis has clearly shown that Swiss Post is vitally important to Swiss people and a well-functioning Swiss economy. However, it is being stretched to the limit with the current system – particularly in view of rapidly increasing parcel volumes. Swiss Post knows which direction business performance will head in if it fails to act. It needs to generate profit to remain successful. It will only be able to implement the transformation over the next few years and invest in the development of its services with a stable financial basis. In particular, Swiss Post wishes to continue financing the universal service and the investments required from its own resources in future, to stop the decline in revenue and to initiate a turnaround. With its new “Swiss Post of tomorrow” strategy, Swiss Post is addressing major and longstanding challenges. It aims to stabilize EBIT at a level of around 400 million francs by 2024 with its new strategy. “To guarantee that it can fund the universal service, Swiss Post must stabilize its operating profit again long-term,” underlines Alex Glanzmann, Head of Finance.

Group key figures
Unit
Full year 2019
Q1 2017
Q1 2020
Group key figures
Operating income
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2019
7'164
Q1 2017
1'823 
Q1 2020
1'744
Group key figures
Operating profit (EBIT)
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2019
450
Q1 2017
172
Q1 2020
115
Group key figures
Group profit
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2019
255
Q1 2017
130
Q1 2020
84
Group key figures
Total assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2019
132'544
Q1 2017
125'938 
Q1 2020
133'609
Group key figures
Equity
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2019
6'834
Q1 2017
7'071 
Q1 2020
6'643
Group key figures
Investments
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2019
471
Q1 2017
82
Q1 2020
71
Group key figures
Headcount at Swiss Post Group
Unit
FTEs
Full year 2019
39'670
Q1 2017
39'492 
Q1 2020
39'622
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Unit
Full year 2019
Q1 2019
Q1 2020
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Number of customers
Unit
In thousands
Full year 2019
2'738
Q1 2019
2'805
Q1 2020
2'720
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Customer assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2019
119'660
Q1 2019
119'193
Q1 2020
116'221
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Non interest-sensitive customer assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2019
12'808
Q1 2019
11'561
Q1 2020
11'600
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Mortgages 
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2019
5'965
Q1 2019
5'858
Q1 2020
6'001
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Growth in customer assets
Unit
CHF million
Full year 2019
246
Q1 2019
-220
Q1 2020
-3'439
PostFinance Ltd key figures
Headcount
Unit
FTEs
Full year 2019
3'243
Q1 2019
3'235
Q1 2020
3'226

Selected key figures per segment

Operating income (CHF million) Segment Q1 2019 Q1 2020
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostMail
Q1 2019
676
Q1 2020
640
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
Swiss Post Solutions
Q1 2019
155
Q1 2020
147
Operating income (CHF million)
Communication market
Segment
PostalNetwork 
Q1 2019
177 
Q1 2020
163
Operating income (CHF million)
Logistics market
Segment
PostLogistics 
Q1 2019
414 
Q1 2020
428
Operating income (CHF million)
Financial services market
Segment
PostFinance
Q1 2019
432
Q1 2020
389
Operating income (CHF million)
Passenger transport market
Segment
PostBus
Q1 2019
204 
Q1 2020
204

 

Operating profit  (CHF million) Segmente Q1 2019 Q1 2020
Operating profit  The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Communication market
Segmente
PostMail
Q1 2019
109
Q1 2020
89
Operating profit  The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Communication market
Segmente
Swiss Post Solutions
Q1 2019
10
Q1 2020
10
Operating profit  The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Communication market
Segmente
PostalNetwork
Q1 2019
-21
Q1 2020
-28
Operating profit  The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Logistics market
Segmente
PostLogistics
Q1 2019
33
Q1 2020
50
Operating profit  The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Financial services market
Segmente
PostFinance
Q1 2019
80
Q1 2020
46
Operating profit  The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). (CHF million)
Passenger transport market
Segmente
PostBus
Q1 2019
3
Q1 2020
-13

Contact

Erich Goetschi
Swiss Post Media Relations
058 341 37 42