Press releases

Swiss Post’s profit declines in third quarter

In the first three quarters of 2016 Swiss Post generated a Group profit of 466 million francs (previous year: 503 million francs). Operating profit (EBIT) decreased from 640 million to 593 million francs.

In the first nine months of 2016, Swiss Post generated Group profit of 466 million francs, 37 million francs less than in the prior-year period. The operating profit of 593 million francs was 47 million francs below the prior-year figure. This decrease was mainly due to the lower result from the communication and logistics markets; the decline in the volume of addressed letters was more pronounced and pressure on parcel margins remains high. At 6,039 million francs, operating income was on a par with the previous year (6,015 million francs).

In the communication market, Swiss Post recorded an operating profit of 94 million francs in the first three quarters of 2016 (previous year: 166 million francs). The decline in profit generated by Post Offices & Sales is principally due to the Group unit’s new internal cost allocation. Operating profit at PostMail fell by 11 million francs to 235 million francs, while Swiss Post Solutions increased its contribution to the result by 5 million to 15 million francs. The decline in the volume of addressed letters was more pronounced: the number fell by almost 4 percent.

In the logistics market, PostLogistics recorded an operating profit of 73 million francs (previous year: 95 million francs). The logistics market continues to be characterized by increasing competition and price pressure, both nationally and internationally. Despite additional income from the 5.6 percent rise in parcel volumes (previous year: + 2.5 percent) and increased demand for value logistics solutions, operating profit fell. This decline is due to modifications to the Group unit’s internal cost allocation.

In the passenger transport market, PostBus increased its operating profit by one million francs to 30 million francs thanks to the low price of fuel. As the budgets of the public entities which act as contracting bodies for transport services are squeezed, the pressure on prices continues to rise.

Sharp decline in interest income

Operating EBIT at PostFinance declined in the first nine months of 2016, principally as a result of the sharp decline in interest income (-93 million francs year-on-year). Thanks to non-recurring revenue from the sale of equity holdings and a participation, PostFinance nonetheless generated operating profit (EBIT) of 410 million francs (previous year: 351 million francs). Despite this, the negative trend in business operations will continue in the coming years, as it is increasingly difficult for PostFinance to find profitable investments for the customer deposits entrusted to it in the current negative interest rate environment due to the lending prohibition.

Outlook

Given the current tense market environment, it will become more and more difficult for Swiss Post to achieve the financial goals set by its owner. As things stand today, Swiss Post nonetheless expects to meet these goals in 2016. Group profit is likely to be below the previous year’s level.

Group key figures

Key figures Unit Full year 2015 Q3 2015 Q3 2016
Operating income CHF million 8,224 6,015 6,039
Operating profit (EBIT)[1] CHF million 823[2] 640[2] 593
as % of operating income % 10.0[2] 10.6[2] 9.8
Group profit CHF million 645[2] 503[2] 466
Total assets CHF million 120,327 119,974 128,943
Equity CHF million 4,385 5,297 4,409
Cash flow from investing activities CHF million -325 -504 -427
Headcount at Swiss Post Group FTEs[3] 44,131 44,032 43,600

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

2 Normalized figures.

3 FTEs = Full-time equivalents. Average expressed in terms of full-time equivalents, excluding trainees.

PostFinance Ltd key figures

Key figures Unit[1] Full year 2015 Q3 2015 Q3 2016
Number of customers In thousands 2,951 2,951 2,951
Number of customer accounts In thousands 4,835 4,832 4,784
Customer assets CHF million 114,866 113,011 120,381
Customer assets in partner solutions CHF million 7,772 7,466 7,956
Mortgages[2] CHF million 5,089 4,988 5,243
Loans to business customers CHF million 9,063 8,097 9,372
E-finance users In thousands 1,683 1,672 1,736
Headcount FTEs[3] 3,571 3,550 3,612
Transactions processed In millions cumulative 1,020 746 768

1 At end of period (unless otherwise stated).

2 In cooperation with partner banks.

3 FTEs = Full-time equivalents. Average expressed in terms of full-time equivalents.

Selected key figures per segment (Group units)

Operating income (CHF million)[1] Group units 30 Sept. 2015 30 Sept. 2016 Difference (CHF million)
Communication market PostMail 2,060 2,149[7] 89
Communication market Swiss Post Solutions 456 416 -40
Communication market Post Offices & Sales 1,122 828[7] -294
Logistics market PostLogistics 1,131 1,144[7] 13
Financial services market PostFinance[3] 1,602 1,638 36
Passenger transport market PostBus[4] 627 684 57
Other[5] - 704 680 -24
Operating profit (CHF million)[1] [2] Group units 30 Sept. 2015[6] 30 Sept. 2016 Difference (CHF million)
Communication market PostMail 246 235[7] -11
Communication market Swiss Post Solutions 10 15 5
Communication market Post Offices & Sales -90 -156[7] -66
Logistics market PostLogistics 95 73[7] -22
Financial services market PostFinance[3] 351 410[7] 59
Passenger transport market PostBus[4] 29 30 1
Other[5] - -1 -14 -13

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

2 The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT). The sharper decline in Post Offices & Sales profit (EBIT) compared with the prior-year period is principally due to the new internal performance mandate of the Group unit or the transfer of responsibility for postal private customer products from Post Offices & Sales to PostMail and PostLogistics.

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 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.

5 Includes service units (Real Estate and Information Technology) and management units (e.g. Human Resources, Finance and Communication).

6 Normalized figures.

7 Figures affected by the new internal performance mandate for Post Offices & Sales.