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Good result in increasingly difficult environment

Swiss Post recorded a Group profit of 645 million francs in 2015 (previous year: 638 million francs). Operating profit (EBIT) stood at 823 million francs (previous year: 803 million francs). The slight increase is mainly due to changes in the carrying amounts in the financial services market. The economic environment and the ongoing low interest situation remain challenging, with operating income in three of the four markets stagnant or declining.

For the year 2015, Group profit stood at 645 million francs, which represents an increase of 7 million francs. At 823 million francs, operating profit (EBIT) is 20 million francs up on the previous year’s figure. This was mainly due to book gains on financial investments, non-recurring book losses from the prior-year period and sharply higher net trading income in the financial services market following the lifting of the minimum euro exchange rate. Operating income was down by 147 million francs to 8,224 million francs (previous year: 8,371 million francs). Total assets fell from 124.67 billion francs to 120.33 billion francs.

Income from core business under pressure

In three of the four markets, operating income was stagnant or declined. In the communication market, the three segments PostMail, Swiss Post Solutions and Post Offices & Sales generated an overall operating profit of 263 million francs (previous year: 246 million francs). At PostMail and Post Offices & Sales, the volume of addressed letters fell by 1.4 percent year-on-year, while the number of unaddressed items decreased by 1.7 percent.

With operating income of 2,820 million francs (previous year: 2,887 million francs), PostMail was the main contributor to operating income in the communication market. PostMail’s operating profit stood at 358 million francs (previous year: 334 million francs). A decrease in income due to lower volumes was more than offset by the reduction in operating expenses.

Swiss Post Solutions generated operating income of 609 million francs (previous year: 659 million francs). Operating profit rose to 15 million francs (previous year: 12 million francs) due to efficiency improvement projects with existing customers and from business with new customers.

With operating income of 1,601 million francs (previous year: 1,663 million francs), Post Offices & Sales recorded an operating result of -110 million francs (previous year: -100 million francs). Letter and parcel volumes and the number of payment transactions continued to decline in 2015. Despite savings in operating expenses, the fall in income was not fully offset.

In the logistics market, PostLogistics generated an operating profit of 145 million francs in the face of continuing intense competition (previous year: 141 million francs). Operating income stood at 1,552 million francs (previous year: 1,562 million francs). Declines in revenue from small consignment transport and warehousing, combined with lower income in the fuel business, were more than offset by higher parcel volumes and optimized operating expenses. Parcel volumes were up 3 percent.

In the passenger transport market, PostBus recorded an operating profit of 29 million francs (previous year: 30 million francs). Operating income rose to 849 million francs (previous year: 835 million francs). The result was only slightly down despite a reduction in compensation for existing services, mainly due to additional income in other business areas.

PostFinance challenged by low interest situation

In the financial services market, the ongoing low interest situation is a serious challenge for PostFinance. In 2015, it recorded an operating profit of 459 million francs, 77 million francs more than the previous year. This increase is mainly due to portfolio reversals of impairment on financial investments (book gains) of 25 million francs. In the previous year, the creation of portfolio value adjustments (book losses) had an impact of 84 million francs on the result. Higher transaction volumes on the foreign currency markets in the wake of the abandoning of the minimum euro exchange rate also made a substantial contribution to the improved result. By contrast, net interest income, net of impairment, was down year-on-year due to the very low, and in some cases negative, interest rates on the markets. Average customer deposits declined by around 2,800 million francs as a result of targeted measures implemented by PostFinance in the context of the introduction of negative interest rates by the Swiss National Bank. In the year under review, 13,000 new customers placed their trust in PostFinance.

One-off items and appropriation of profit

Swiss Post’s financial result includes one-off items for the year 2015. However, they did not lead to any adjustment of the prior-year figures. The non-consideration (normalization) of these one-off items allows comparison with the previous year and provides an accurate representation of the current operating business performance. In 2015, Group profit, operating profit and operating expenses are affected by normalization.

At the General Meeting, the Board of Directors will propose paying a dividend of 200 million francs to the Confederation. As at 31 December 2015, Group equity stood at 4.39 billion francs (before appropriation of profit).

Ongoing development focused on demand and affordability

Swiss Post intends to continue providing its customers with first-class services. In order to be able to invest in infrastructure and innovation, and to develop in the long term using its own resources, Swiss Post depends on solid profits. While letters, which are protected by a partial monopoly, are faced with ongoing volume declines, the pressure on margins for parcels is rising. Changing technologies are altering customer behaviour fundamentally. Swiss Post must therefore continue to consistently develop its access points and services and adapt them to the needs of its customers while at the same time also creating an affordable infrastructure.

Group key figures

Key figures Unit 2014 2015
Operating income CHF million 8,371[1] 8,224
Operating profit (EBIT) [2] CHF million 803 823[3]
As a % of operating income (operating profit margin) % 9.6 10.0[3]
Group profit CHF million 638 645[3]
Total assets CHF million 124,671 120,327
Equity CHF million 5,010 4,385
Investments [4] CHF million 443 437
Employees at Group (excluding trainees) Full-time equivalents[5] 44,681 44,131
Of which abroad Full-time equivalents[5] 7,627 7,449
Group trainees in Switzerland Full-time equivalents 2,035 2,077
Addressed letters Millions of items sent 2,203.1 2,171.6
Parcels Millions of items sent 111.8 115.2
Number of passengers in Switzerland Persons (in millions) 140.6 145.0

1 The figure has been adjusted (see Financial Report 2015, Note 2 to Group annual financial statements, Basis of accounting, Accounting changes).

2 The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT).

3 Normalized figure.

4 Investments in property, plant and equipment, investment property, intangible assets and subsidiaries.

5 Average headcount expressed in terms of full-time equivalents (excluding trainees).

PostFinance Ltd key figures

Key figures Unit 2014 2015
Number of customers Thousands 2,938 2,951
Number of customer accounts Thousands 4,752 4,835
Inflow of new money[1] CHF million 2,839 -2,766
Customer assets[1] CHF million monthly avg. 117,186 114,866
Customer assets in partner solutions[1] CHF million monthly avg. 7,125 7,772
Mortgages[2] CHF million 4,713 5,089
Loans to business customers (taken up) CHF million 8,165 9,063
E-finance users Thousands 1,624 1,683
Headcount Full-time equivalents[3] 3,454 3,571
Transactions processed In millions 996 1,020

1 Based on monthly averages.

2 PostFinance does not provide mortgages independently. It works with partner banks to do so.

3 Average headcount expressed in terms of full-time equivalents.

Selected key figures per segment

Communication market Key figures Unit 2014 2015
PostMail Operating income[1] CHF million 2,887 2,820
PostMail Operating profit[1] CHF million 334 358[2]
Swiss Post Solutions Operating income[1] CHF million 659 609
Swiss Post Solutions Operating profit[1] CHF million 12 15[2]
Post Offices & Sales Operating income[1] CHF million 1,663 1,601
Post Offices & Sales Operating profit[1] CHF million -100 -110[2]
Logistics market Key figures Unit 2014 2015
PostLogistics Operating income[1] CHF million 1,562 1,552
PostLogistics Operating profit[1] CHF million 141 145[2]
Financial services market Key figures Unit 2014 2015
PostFinance[3] Operating income[1] CHF million 2,175[4] 2,143
PostFinance[3] Operating profit[1] CHF million 382 459[2]
Passenger transport market Key figures Unit 2014 2015
PostBus[5] Operating income[1] CHF million 835 849
PostBus[5] Operating profit[1] CHF million 30 29[2]

1 Operating income and operating profit (EBIT) by segment are reported before management, licence fees and net cost compensation.

2 Normalized figure.

3 PostFinance Ltd also applies the accounting rules for banks, securities dealers, financial groups and conglomerates (ARB). There are differences between the ARB and the IFRS results.

4 The figure has been adjusted (see Financial Report 2015, Note 2 to Group annual financial statements, Basis of accounting, Accounting changes).

5 Within regional public transport, PostBus Switzerland Ltd is subject to the DETEC ordinance on the accounting of licensed businesses (RKV). There are differences between the RKV and the IFRS results.

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