Swiss Post again achieves excellent annual results

Press release dated 15.03.2012

Swiss Post once again produced an excellent result for 2011. With 904 million francs, Group profits only narrowly missed matching the prior-year figure (910 million). Operating income came in at 8,599 million francs (previous year 8,736 million). Increases in productivity and growth in customer deposits made a major contribution to the good result. Excellent results were generated in the company's four markets. Swiss Post is seizing the opportunities that come with change by offering new services. It is using profits to supplement its equity capital further, to support consolidation of the pension fund, to finance investments and to deliver a suitable share of the profits to the Confederation.

In 2011, Swiss Post generated Group profits of 904 million francs. This is 0.7 percent less than in the previous year (910 million francs). Operating income was down by 1.6 percent to 8,599 million francs (previous year 8,736 million). The lower figure reported for sales is mainly due to accounting changes. The operating profit margin remained practically stable at 10.6 percent (previous year: 10.7 percent). Investments amounted to 427 million francs (previous year 364 million), and as in previous years, they have been financed almost entirely by own resources. Total assets rose – mostly due to the increase in customer deposits – exceeding the 100 billion mark for the first time and came in at 108,254 million francs. At the end of the year, equity amounted to 4,879 million francs.

As in previous years, Swiss Post will continue contributing to the consolidation of its pension fund; it will persist with gradually strengthening its equity basis further, will continue to finance its investments from own resources and provide the Confederation with a suitable share of its profit. In order to do this, the company needs sound results throughout all the Group units. The Board of Directors shall request from the Federal Council that 100 million francs of the 611 million constituting the parent's profit in 2011 are used to consolidate the pension fund, 200 million francs to pay out to the Confederation and 311 million to be allocated to equity.

Good results in all four markets

Excellent results were generated in all of Swiss Post's four markets. However, they have developed disparately. While a decline was noted in the Communications and Logistics markets, results in the Retail Finance and Public Passenger Transport markets showed improvements. 

In the Communications market, Swiss Post with its four Group units (PostMail, Swiss Post International, Swiss Post Solutions, Post Offices & Sales) produced an operating result of 121 million francs (previous year 147 million). The earnings generated here are very important for the financing of the postal network.

The PostMail unit, reporting operating income of 2,575 million francs (previous year 2,619 million) represents the strongest pillar in the Communications market and has increased its operating result from 199 to 210 million francs, thanks to continued growth in the letter business. The trend perceived in business customers moving to more economical mailing options as well as the very slight decline in volume in letters was offset by increases in productivity.

With operating income at 780 million francs (previous year 788 million), Swiss Post International produced an operating result of 51 million francs (49 million). Restructuring measures, which had already been introduced in the previous year, led to a reduction in costs that exceeded the volume-related decline in income. The Swiss Post Solutions result rose from 7 to 11 million francs with operating income coming in at 549 million francs (previous year 665 million). The improvement in the result goes hand in hand with organic growth both in Switzerland and abroad and is also related to the restructuring of the Direct Mail division into a joint venture with Austrian Post.

The Post Offices & Sales unit generated a result of minus 151 million francs (previous year minus 108 million) with operating income reported at 1,706 million francs (previous year 1,769 million). It was chiefly losses in payment transactions and in the letter and parcel business that led to this drop. Sales of non-postal brand articles continued to develop positively and made an important contribution to utilization and financing of the postal network. Swiss Post will maintain its efforts to adapt the post office network continuously to the changing customer needs and to lower costs.

In the Logistics market, PostLogistics reported a result of 151 million francs almost consolidating an increase in profits over 2010 (164 million). Operating income fell from 1,478 million to 1,439 million francs. The main reasons for this are lower parcel volumes and increased personnel costs related to special factors. The drop in volume can be explained mostly by partial losses in import parcel processing from Germany and special action programs, which had led to an all-time high in the previous year. In the Retail Finance market, the result rose to 591 million francs (previous year 571 million) with income coming in at 2,451 million francs (previous year 2,389 million). The main reasons for this good result were net interest income and cost discipline. In the Public Passenger Transport market, PostBus increased its operating result by 5 million to 33 million francs (previous year 28 million). Further expansion of services as well as rate adjustments implemented in the 2011 timetable year caused operating income to rise to 719 million francs (previous year 702 million).

Moderate outlook

Swiss Post's objective is to offer its customers first class services at competitive prices in all its four markets and to keep costs down. Swiss Post is seizing the opportunities that come with change. Modern structures, entrepreneurial scope and fair competition help it to achieve its goal. The imminent coming into force of the new postal legislation, which includes the present draft of the Postal Ordinance, as well as the restructuring of Swiss Post and PostFinance into public limited companies create the necessary conditions. The moderate economic outlook, which will have a negative impact on volumes of core business and the persisting low rate of interest in money and capital markets are the challenges Swiss Post sees for the current year.

Key figures for Swiss Post Group

Key figures Unit 2011 2010
Operating income CHF million 8,599 8,736
Operating result (EBIT)1 CHF million 908 930
as a % of operating income (EBIT return) % 10.6 10.7
Group profits CHF million 904 910
Total assets CHF million 108,254 93,310
Equity CHF million 4,879 4,224
Investments2 CHF million 427 364
Headcount at Swiss Post Group (excluding trainees) FTE3 44,348 45,129
of which are abroad FTE3  6,645 7,255
Trainees at Swiss Post Group in Switzerland FTE3 1,942 1,824
Addressed letters, domestic Millions of items sent 2,334 2,365
Parcels, domestic Millions of items sent 107 108
Access points Number 3,607 3,612

Selected key figures by segment (Group units)

Communications market Figure Unit 2011 2010
Communications market Operating result1 CHF million 121 147
PostMail Operating income CHF million 2,575 2,619
PostMail Operating result (EBIT)1 CHF million 210 199
Swiss Post International Operating income CHF million 780 788
Swiss Post International Operating result (EBIT)1 CHF million 51 49
Swiss Post International Letters sent (from Switzerland) Millions of items sent 69.8 74.4
Swiss Post Solutions Operating income CHF million 549 665
Swiss Post Solutions Operating result (EBIT)1 CHF million 11 7
Post Offices & Sales Operating income CHF million 1,706 1,769
Post Offices & Sales Operating result (EBIT)1 CHF million -151 -108

Logistics market Figure Unit 2011 2010
PostLogistics Operating income CHF million 1,439 1,478
PostLogistics Operating result (EBIT)1 CHF million 151 164

Retail financial market Figure Unit 2011 2010
PostFinance Operating income CHF million 2,451 2,389
PostFinance Operating result (EBIT)1 CHF million 591 571
PostFinance Net inflow of new money CHF million 8,185 10,662

Public passenger transport market Figure Unit 2011 2010
PostBus Operating income CHF million 719 702
PostBus Operating result (EBIT)1,4 CHF million 33 28
PostBus Number of passengers in Switzerland Million people 124 121

1 Operating result corresponds to operating profit before non-operative financial income and taxes (EBIT).
2 Investments in property, plant and equipment, equity interests and intangible assets.
3 Average headcount expressed in terms of full-time equivalents.
4 The operating result of PostBus includes all business activities in Switzerland and abroad. Deviations exist in comparison to the operating result generated by PostBus Switzerland Ltd.