Swiss Post makes a good start to 2021
Swiss Post’s Group profit rose slightly in the first quarter of 2021 year-on-year. Revenue remained stable, while operating profit fell slightly. Overall, it got off to a successful start in the new strategy period under the new Group structure. There was also good news from day-to-day operations, with parcel volumes, which remained high, processed reliably.
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Swiss Post’s operating income came in at 1,829 million francs in the first quarter of this year, up by around 84 million francs on the same period in 2020. At 91 million francs, Group profit was 7 million francs higher than in the first quarter of 2020. Operating profit came in at 89 million francs, which is 26 million lower year-on-year.
Trends in letters and parcels persist
Year-on-year, the volume of addressed letters fell by 5.1 percent. The decline in letters is continuing, underlining a trend evident for many years – the substitution of letter mail by digital products and services. This is in complete contrast to the situation with parcels where last year’s boom continued. Compared to the first quarter of 2020, 34.2 percent more parcels were processed. Since the start of the year, parcel and letter processing have been merged into one unit. Logistics strengths have been pooled, enabling them to be optimized in order to strengthen Swiss Post’s core business. The transition ran smoothly and the parcel volumes were easily managed.
Customer trust in PostFinance is high
The figures for the first quarter reveal that PostFinance enjoys a high level of trust amongst its customers. Customer assets increased by 5.7 billion francs compared to the first quarter of 2020. There is still no indication of a change of trend on the interest and capital market. Interest rates remain low. PostFinance is also still being hit by the impact of the pandemic. People are travelling less than before coronavirus. The conversion gains from cash withdrawals in foreign currencies at ATMs in Switzerland and abroad and from the use of credit cards fell accordingly in the first quarter of 2021.
New strategy guarantees a strong public service
Swiss Post has had a new Group structure 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 strategy and structure are impacting on operating income or the result in the current year. However, the negative trends of Swiss Post’s relevant value drivers – letter volumes, over-the-counter transactions and interest – are clearly evident. It’s also clear that recipes from the past are no solution for the challenges of the future. The new strategy is taking Swiss Post in a new direction, which will focus on continuing to provide Switzerland with modern postal services in future and guaranteeing a strong public service. The Swiss Post of tomorrow is based on four pillars: investment, growth, efficiency improvements and price measures. Alex Glanzmann, Swiss Post’s CFO, firmly believes: “This will ensure Swiss Post remains independent and relevant.”