Sharper focus on costs to counter the economic downturn
Posten interim report January - September 2008
- Net sales totaled SEK 22,783m (21,883)
- Operating earnings totaled SEK 1,579m (1,948)
- A strong financial position put the equity-assets ratio at 41% (39%)
- Posten Logistics is setting up 1,200 collection points in Finland under the MyPack brand
Message from the CEO
Posten's net sales increased 4%, to SEK 22,783m, during the first nine months of the year. Posten Logistics grew 26% as a result of the acquisition of Tollpost Globe and organic growth. Stralfors' operations in information logistics and graphics also expanded during the period. Posten Messaging's slide in revenues slowed in the third quarter, such that sales declined only 2% during the period. Operating earnings decreased 19%, to SEK 1,579m.
Turbulence in financial markets and increasing uncertainty about the economic slowdown makes it difficult to assess the eventual impact on demand for Posten's services. However, we anticipate that the slowing economy will spur the transition to electronic communication. This also means that we must be prepared for our customers to make even tougher demands on our ability to deliver more cost-effective communications and logistics solutions.
Thus it is an asset that we have continued to reinforce our competitiveness in several areas. As part of Posten Logistics' expansion focused on making it a Nordic start-to-finish supplier, in September it was announced that the successful MyPack concept will now also be established in Finland. This will enable our logistics operations to offer a nationwide distribution network in Norway and Finland. Together with Posten's postal service locations network in Sweden, this start-to-finish offer provides unique competitive advantage in the battle for the growing distance trade. Additionally, we took yet another step towards the concentration of Stralfors by selling its payment transaction operations to PBS A/S.
Our major challenge in the short term is how to adjust our costs to weaker demand with greater rapidity and a higher degree of flexibility. For this reason, we have begun to identify additional savings in all parts of the operations. This means that we will test the possibility of moving forward measures already planned at the same time as we identify new measures to enhance earnings. The goal is for Posten to remain a competitive partner for all its customers and thereby safeguard its universal service obligation while achieving profitability in all operations in the short and long run.
Now we are waiting for our owners to sign a final agreement to merge Posten and Post Danmark. Both companies are well prepared to quickly form a common organization capable of realizing the synergy effects that have been identified and making the most of the business advantages generated by the merger, as soon as the owners have finalized the agreement.
Lars G Nordström
President and CEO
Please direct any questions to:
Posten's Press Office, tel: + 46 (0)8-23 10 10, e-mail: email@example.com
Posten connects people and organizations around the world by delivering mail promptly, reliably and cost-effectively. We drive value creation by combining conventional postal services and convenient electronic solutions, and integrating these services into customer businesses. With over 4,000 retail service outlets, we provide daily service to 4.5 million homes and 900,000 businesses in Sweden. Every day we handle close to 20 million pieces of mail. With sales of nearly SEK 30 billion and roughly 30,000 employees, the group is one of the largest in Sweden. The group's parent, Posten AB (publ), is wholly owned by the Swedish Government. For more information, please visit our website at www.posten.se