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Swiss Post remains on track year-on-year

Swiss Post is on track to achieve a result in line with last year in the first year following its conversion to a public limited company. The adjusted operating result (EBIT) rose to 769 million francs (previous year: 682 million francs). This increase of 87 million francs was achieved thanks to solid income on the financial and investment markets and good cost management. In the first nine months of 2013, Swiss Post achieved Group profit of 517 million francs (previous year: 645 million francs) normalized to take account of one-off items. The decline in profit is due to the Group result being fully subject to taxation for the first time. Swiss Post achieved positive results in all four markets.

At 769 million francs, the operating result (EBIT) is up 87 million francs year-on-year thanks to solid income on the financial and investment markets and lower operating expenses. In the first nine months of 2013, Swiss Post generated normalized Group profit of 517 million francs, a decline of 128 million francs year-on-year. The decrease is due to the Group result being fully subject to taxation for the first time.

Positive results in all four markets

All four markets contributed to the positive overall result. In the communication market, Swiss Post increased its operating result (EBIT) to 178 million francs (previous year: 39 million francs). Declining revenues, primarily due to the outsourcing of international consignments to the joint venture Asendia, were offset by higher internal payments for services and good cost management. The volume of addressed letters fell by 2.3 percent, whereas the number of unaddressed items increased slightly (+ 0.8 percent).

In the logistics market, Swiss Post recorded an operating result (EBIT) of 94 million francs (previous year: 99 million francs). The slightly lower result is primarily due to higher internal payments for services. Parcel volumes increased year-on-year, both domestically (+ 3.7 percent) and in terms of imports and exports (+ 7.6 percent).

In the public passenger transport market, PostBus Switzerland Ltd generated an operating result (EBIT) of 27 million francs (previous year: 32 million francs). The decrease is due to increased pressure on prices from buyers. The public passenger transport market is growing steadily. PostBus Switzerland Ltd increased the number of kilometres covered by 2.9 percent, recording a total of 98 million kilometres.

At 443 million francs (previous year: 494 million francs), PostFinance’s operations in the retail financial market made a positive contribution to the Group’s operating result. The decrease year-on-year is primarily due to higher internal payments for services and lower net interest income. Interest margins remain under pressure. PostFinance was however able to reverse previously incurred impairment charges, contributing 46 million francs to the result. Cash outflows from banks and insurance companies, caused by changes in the regulatory status of PostFinance Ltd as a bank in its treatment as a counterparty, were offset by inflows of new money from private customers, SMEs and other large customers. Overall, customer assets rose slightly to over 112 billion francs. Since the beginning of the year, 36,000 new customers have placed their trust in PostFinance, with the total number of customers increasing to 2.96 million.

Result affected by exceptional one-off items

Swiss Post’s financial result includes three one-off items in 2013:

  • The result of an initial, one-off recognition of deferred taxes of 943 million francs, resulting from full liability for taxation with effect from 1 January 2013.
  • The result of the plan amendment in staff costs of 444 million francs, resulting from adjustments to the principles underlying the Swiss Post pension fund.
  • The negative impact on earnings of a provision amounting to 105 million francs due to an adjustment in the value of Swiss Post’s performance obligation from stamp sales.

The financial impact of these one-off items has been adjusted (normalized) to facilitate comparison with the previous year’s figures and to give an accurate representation of operating business. These are non-cash items and will have no effect on distributable profit.

Good annual result expected

In light of the current position, Swiss Post expects to record a good result in terms of Group profit for 2013 as a whole. It may however be slightly below the previous year’s level.

Group key figures

Key figures Unit 3rd quarter 2013 3rd quarter 2012[1] Year 2012[1]
Operating income CHF m 6‘152 6‘339 8‘576
Normalized operating income[3] CHF m 6‘257 6‘339 8‘576
Operating result[2] CHF m 1‘108 682 860
Normalized operating result[2],[3] CHF m 769 682 860
as % of operating income[3] % 12.3 10.8 10.0
Normalized Group profit[3] CHF m 517 645 772
Group profit CHF m 1‘799 645 772
Total assets CHF m 118‘184 115‘340 120‘069
Equity CHF m 4‘967 3‘435 3‘145
Investments[4] CHF m 290 290 443
Employees at Swiss Post Group FTEs[5] 43‘862 44‘763 44‘605

1  Prior-year figures adjusted (IAS 19 revised).
2  The operating result corresponds to the result before non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT).
3  Normalized for one-off items.
4  Investments in property, plant and equipment, shareholdings and intangible assets.
5  FTEs = Full-time equivalents. Average expressed in terms of full-time equivalents, excluding trainees.

PostFinance key figures

Key figures Unit[1] 3rd quarter 2013 3rd quarter 2012 Year 2012
Number of customers Thousands 2‘958 2‘911 2‘922
Number of customer accounts including pillar 3a Thousands 4‘626 4‘537 4‘549
Customer assets[2] CHF m 112‘064 102‘869 103‘850
Funds and securities CHF m[2] 5‘202 4‘432 4‘524
Mortgages[3] CHF m[4] 4‘355 4‘056 4‘167
Loans to business customers CHF m 7‘116 6‘727 6'514
E-finance users Thousands 1‘528 1‘451 1‘463
Headcount FTEs[5] 3‘436 3‘474 3'479
Transactions processed Millions, cumulative 704 679 932

1  At end of period (unless otherwise stated).
2  Cumulative average.
3  PostFinance does not provide mortgages independently. It works with partner banks to do so.
4  New calculation from 1.1.2013.
5  FTEs = Full-time equivalents. Average expressed in terms of full-time equivalents.

Selected key figures per segment (Group units)

30 September 2013 Group unit Normalized operating income (CHF m)[1],[3] Normalized operating result (CHF m)[2],[3]
Communication market 3‘496 178
Communication market PostMail 2‘158 248
Communication market Swiss Post Solutions 426 0
Communication market Post Offices & Sales 1‘192 -70
Logistics market PostLogistics 1‘152 94
Retail financial market PostFinance[4] 1‘780 443
Public passenger transport market PostBus[5] 602 27
Other[6] 668 27
30 September 2012 Group unit Operating income (CHF m)[1] Operating result (CHF m)[2],[3]
Communication market 3‘491 39
Communication market PostMail 2‘298 263
Communication market Swiss Post Solutions 407 1
Communication market Post Offices & Sales 1‘066 -225
Logistics market PostLogistics 1‘119 99
Retail financial market PostFinance 1‘788 494
Public passenger transport market PostBus[5] 575 32
Other[6] 697 18

1  Prior-year figures adjusted (IAS 19 revised).
2  The operating result corresponds to the result before non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT).
3  Normalized for one-off items.
4  PostFinance is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and therefore subject to its Bank Accounting Guidelines (BAG). There are differences between BAG and IFRS.
5  In the field of regional public transport, PostBus is subject to the DETEC ordinance on the accounting of licensed businesses (RKV). There are differences between RKV and IFRS.
6  Includes service units (Real Estate, Information Technology, Corporate Purchasing and Language Services) and management units (a. o. Human Resources, Finance and Communication).