Press releases

Swiss Post makes a good start to 2021

In its results for the first quarter of 2021, Swiss Post recorded slightly higher Group profit, somewhat lower operating profit and stable revenue year-on-year. Swiss Post began the new strategy period well under the new Group structure during the first three months of the year. It started equally strongly in terms of day-to-day operations. Parcel volumes, which remained high, were processed reliably under the new organizational structure.

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Swiss Post generated Group profit of 91 million francs in the first quarter of 2021, which is 7 million francs more than the previous year’s figure. Operating profit (EBIT) came in at 89 million francs, 26 million down on the first quarter of 2020. Revenue (operating income) remained stable at 1,829 million francs, rising by around 84 million francs compared to the first three months of the prior year – which represents an increase of 4.8 percent. “Swiss Post got off to a good start operationally in the new year and in the new strategy period,” says Alex Glanzmann, CFO at Swiss Post.

Pooling strengths bolsters core business

In the mail business, the volume of addressed letters declined by –5.1 percent, while parcel volumes continued to grow. Swiss Post employees processed 34.2 percent more parcels than during the same period a year ago. Swiss Post is adapting to this trend. Since the start of the year, parcel and letter processing have been merged into the same unit. Logistics strengths have been combined to ensure optimal processing of parcel volumes to bolster Swiss Post’s core business. The transition ran seamlessly. “We ensured the high parcel volumes were processed reliably under the new organizational structure, which gives us greater flexibility,” notes Glanzmann. This is also reflected in the result of the Logistics Services unit which – adjusted for the effect of an insurance payment in the previous year – rose due to the higher parcel volumes. There were also positive developments at PostalNetwork, Mobility Services with PostBus and Swiss Post Solutions, while the (digital) Communication Services unit posted a lower result as anticipated.

At PostFinance, customer deposits rose year-on-year despite customer asset fees. However, these measures have led to a shift towards funds and securities investments to some extent (non interest-sensitive customer assets). Overall, the growth in customer assets stood at –1.8 billion francs in the first quarter. Income from the interest and capital market was down on the previous year. Coronavirus has also had an impact on PostFinance. People are still travelling less than before the pandemic. The conversion gains from cash withdrawals in foreign currencies at ATMs in Switzerland and abroad and from the use of credit cards also fell in the first quarter of 2021.

New strategy guarantees strong public service

Swiss Post has had a new Group structure (see box) and has been implementing the “Swiss Post of tomorrow” strategy since the start of the year. It is still too early to provide specific statements on the extent to which the new strategy and structure are impacting on operating income or the result in the current year. However, the negative trends of Swiss Post’s previously centralized value drivers – letter volumes, over-the-counter transactions and interest – have been evident for some time. Alex Glanzmann firmly believes: “Recipes from the past are no solution for the challenges of the future.” By pursuing its new strategy, Swiss Post is embarking on a path into the future which will focus on continuing to provide Switzerland with modern postal services and guaranteeing a strong public service. The Swiss Post of tomorrow is based on four pillars: investment, growth, efficiency improvements and price measures. “This will ensure Swiss Post can remain independent, continue to make everyday life easier for people and enable companies in Switzerland to progress,” emphasizes Glanzmann.

 

How Swiss Post has been organized since the start of the year

Swiss Post aligned its Group structure to the new strategy on 1 January 2021. PostMail and PostLogistics were merged. Logistics competencies are pooled in the Logistics Services unit and digital competencies combined in the Communication Services unit. PostalNetwork, PostFinance, Swiss Post Solutions and PostBus remain virtually unchanged organizationally. 

 

Group key figures

Unit Full year 2020 Q1 2020 Q1 2021
Operating income CHF million 7’054 1’745 [1] 1’829
Operating profit (EBIT) [2] CHF million 272 115 89
Group profit CHF million 178 84 91
Total assets CHF million 124’274 133’609 131’942
Equity CHF million 6’906 6’643 7’015
Investments CHF million 401 63 [1] 119
Headcount at Swiss Post Group FTEs [3] 39’089 39’622 39’623

 

1 The figure has been adjusted.
2 The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT).
3 FTEs = full-time equivalents. Average headcount expressed in terms of full-time equivalents, excluding trainees.

PostFinance Ltd key figures

Unit Full year 2020 Q1 2020 Q1 2021
Number of customers in thousands 2’685 2’720 2’672
Customer assets CHF million 123'679 116’221 121'916
Non interest-sensitive customer assets CHF million 14'490 11’600 15'565
Mortgages [1] CHF million 6'039 6’001 6'067
Growth in customer assets CHF million 4'019 -3’439 -1'762
Headcount FTEs [2] 3'260 3’226 3'246

 

1 In cooperation with partner banks.
2 FTEs = full-time equivalents. Average headcount expressed in terms of full-time equivalents. Headcount at PostFinance parent company.

Selected key figures per segment

Q1 2021 Operating income
(CHF million)
Operating profit
(CHF million) [1]
Logistics Services 1’069 120
PostalNetwork 156 –21
Communication Services 8 –16
Mobility Services 263 0
Swiss Post Solutions 147 11
PostFinance 366 29

 

Q1 2020 [2] Operating income
(CHF million)
Operating profit
(CHF million) [1]
Logistics Services 978 132 [3]
PostalNetwork 163 –27
Communication Services 7 –9
Mobility Services 245 –8
Swiss Post Solutions 147 10
PostFinance 389 46

 

1 The operating profit corresponds to the result before net non-operating financial income and taxes (EBIT).
2 Individual operating income and operating profit have been reassigned based on the new segmentation as a result of the “Swiss Post of tomorrow” strategy.
3 The higher operating profit in 2020 is also attributable to the receipt of insurance payments of around 17 million francs and the associated release of provisions.

 

Information: Erich Goetschi, Swiss Post Media Unit, 058 341 37 42, presse@swisspost.ch