Main content area

Go to overview

Swiss Post remains on track with good interim result

Communication dated 31.08.2017

In the first half of 2017, Swiss Post generated Group profit of 394 million francs (previous year: 313 million francs). Operating profit (EBIT) rose to 547 million francs, representing an increase of 164 million francs. A large part of this – around 155 million francs – was due to the improved result in the financial services market. Efficiency measures, the restructuring of the post office network and the ongoing adjustment of our services to adapt to changing customer behaviour also contributed to the good result.

Profits are vital to be able to tap into new sources of income as well as to operate and modernize an affordable and needs-based infrastructure. They allow Swiss Post to invest in new parcel centers and new services for customers, and provide funding for the pension fund. “The fact that we are making good progress and have achieved a solid interim result will enable us to continually develop”, says Alex Glanzmann, Head of Finance at Swiss Post. “However, it can also clearly be seen that maintaining a stable operating result is still a major challenge for us”. The market environment continues to be difficult, and pressure remains high on all the Group units due to the digital transformation. Innovations are a key part of digital change, and Swiss Post wants to actively help shape the process in the interests of its customers.

Markets’ contribution to profit

All the markets contributed to the generally positive interim result. In the communication market, the letter business recorded an operating profit of 186 million francs, which is 3 million francs more than in the prior-year period. However, the number of addressed letters was again down on the previous year (-2.8 percent). Although Post Offices & Sales recorded a loss of -88 million francs, the decline was reduced by 11 million francs. This is due to the restructuring of the post office network, which offset losses in over-the-counter transactions for letters, parcels and inpayments. The volume of inpayments and outpayments over the counter alone declined by 5.8 percent in the first half of the year. In the interests of its customers, Swiss Post will continue to invest significant amounts in new services and modern access points.

Swiss Post Solutions improved operating profit by 5 million to 15 million francs, considerably increasing its EBIT margin. The services offered by Swiss Post Solutions for the outsourcing of business processes and innovative services in document solutions are meeting with growing demand in Switzerland and abroad.

The logistics business posted operating profit of 58 million francs, which was 6 million francs higher than the prior-year figure. Parcel volumes rose sharply once again (+4.9 percent). With a market share of around 80 percent, Swiss Post remains the number one in the Swiss parcel market. However, pressure on margins remains high, partly due to competitors from outside the sector.

In the passenger transport market, PostBus recorded an operating profit of 20 million francs. Despite increasing the number of kilometres covered, the result was one million francs down year-on-year. This was due to the non-recurring one-off item from the previous year (fuel reimbursement), higher fuel prices and a rise in employee benefit expenses.

Lower value adjustments at PostFinance

PostFinance generated operating profit of 392 million francs in the first half of 2017. The 155 million franc rise is mainly due to the base effect on reversals of impairment on financial investments (14 million francs), whereas high value adjustments had been recognized the previous year (110 million francs). The encouraging level of net trading income (+27 million francs) and declining personnel expenses (-11 million francs) contributed to the improved result. PostFinance is still facing a difficult market environment due to persistently low interest rates and the competitive disadvantage in loans and mortgage lending. Net income from the interest differential business alone, our most important pillar, was down 38 million francs due to a lack of profitable investment opportunities.

Swiss Post wants to remain attractive to customers and employees

Technological change and the associated challenges will continue to be very noticeable in the individual markets. Swiss Post must register solid profits in order to meet these challenges and fulfil its obligation to provide a universal postal service in accordance with postal legislation. It attaches a great deal of importance to a high-quality service, which it provides in full. As part of the digital transformation, Swiss Post is investing in a modern infrastructure from its own resources, as well as funding basic and advanced training for its employees.

Swiss Post is adapting to the changes in the market and taking action early on. This will ensure that it can offer its customers first-class services in the long term, and remain attractive in the future as the third-largest employer in Switzerland.

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

Alex Glanzmann, Head of Finance and a Member of Swiss Post Executive Management, will be available for short telephone interviews between 10 and 11 a.m. today. If you are interested, please contact the Media Unit so that we can schedule a time for your call. Please register via telephone (058 341 00 00).

Group key figures

Unit Full year 2016 First half 2016 First half 2017
Operating income CHF million 8,188 4,150 4,094
Operating profit (EBIT)[1] CHF million 704 383 547
as a % of operating income (EBIT return) % 8.6 9.2 13.4
Group profit CHF million 558 313 394
Total assets CHF million 126,609 127,889 127,270
Equity CHF million 4,881 4,276 6,395
Cash flow from investing activities CHF million -509 -294 -203
Headcount at Swiss Post Group FTEs[2] 43,485 43,732 42,524
1 The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT).
2 FTEs = full-time equivalents. Average expressed in terms of full-time equivalents, excluding trainees.

PostFinance Ltd key figures

Unit Full year 2016 First half 2016 First half 2017
Number of customers in thousands 2,952 2,944 2,934
Number of customer accounts in thousands 4,845 4,832 4,814
Customer assets CHF million 119,436 117,630 117,684
Customer assets in partner solutions CHF million 8,246 7,488 9,065
Mortgages[1] CHF million 5,361 5,174 5,504
Loans to business customers CHF million 9,894 9,374 10,080
E-finance users in thousands 1,743 1,717 1,752
Headcount FTEs[2] 3,599 3,622 3,508
Processed transactions million 1,044 516 522
1 In cooperation with partner banks.
2 FTEs = full-time equivalents. Average expressed in terms of full-time equivalents. Headcount at PostFinance parent company.

Selected key figures per segment

30 June 2017 Operating income
(CHF million)
Operating profit
(CHF million)[1]
Communication market PostMail 1,429 186
Communication market Swiss Post Solutions 271 15
Communication market Post Offices & Sales 538 -88
Logistics market PostLogistics 791 58
Financial services market PostFinance 1,111 392
Passenger transport market PostBus 464 20
30 June 2016 Operating income
(CHF million)
Operating profit
(CHF million)[1]
Communication market PostMail 1,485 183
Communication market Swiss Post Solutions 285 10
Communication market Post Offices & Sales 576 -99
Logistics market PostLogistics 772 52
Financial services market PostFinance 1,126 237
Passenger transport market PostBus 457 21
1 The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT).