Interim Report January-March 2013: Stable development overall – the way forward is clear
- Net sales totaled SEK 9,832m (9,993).
- Operating profit totaled SEK 333m (330).
- Net profit totaled SEK 185m (208).
- Cash flows from operating activities totaled SEK 404m (271).
Message from the CEO, Lars Idermark:
PostNord reported stable net sales for the first quarter of the year, excluding currency effects. This was achieved in a market experiencing a continued decline in mail volumes and during a period with fewer business days than the corresponding period last year. Acquired companies contributed SEK 471m to net sales.
Expenses fell 5 percent excluding acquisitions and currency effects. Operating profit totaled SEK 333m, and three of the four business areas reported improved operating profit. Profit was impacted by continuing, albeit reduced, restructuring costs. Results for the quarter and the comparative period were impacted by the effects of changes in accounting principles. The operating margin was 3.4 percent and cash flows from operating activities improved.
Net sales for Mail decreased 8 percent and the operating margin fell to 4.1 percent. The change was primarily related to the development within Mail Denmark, which was unable to implement cost cuts to the extent required to meet the sharp drop in mail volumes during the quarter. Operating profit improved somewhat for the Swedish Mail business, due to streamlining efforts and adjustments to reduced mail volumes. The dramatic drops in mail volumes in Denmark, as well as in Sweden, were as anticipated and underscore the importance of making adjustments to national postal market regulations in relation to changed market conditions.
We continue to grow within Logistics, organically and through acquisitions. Net sales rose 16% during the quarter, and over 2% excluding acquisitions and currency effects. Operating profit improved somewhat, and the operating margin was stable. Acquisitions of logistics businesses during 2012 and early 2013 contributed SEK 383m to net sales during the quarter. In April, we signed an agreement to acquire Nordisk Kyl Logistik and Transbothnia from Bilfrakt Bothnia AB. These recent acquisitions further expand our market presence within mixed cargo, consignment freight and thermal transports in Sweden, and strengthen our offer within grocery and industrial logistics.
We continue to benefit from changing consumer trade patterns. The growth of e-commerce contributed to an increase in the flow of consignment goods. All in all, volumes for B2C parcels and light parcels in the mail flows increased 7 percent during the quarter.
Strålfors turned around its loss from Q1 2012 to profit, and reported an operating margin of 2.6 percent. As the business area’s profitability progressively improves, Strålfors is now focusing on generating profitable growth for the business.
For PostNord, the way forward is clear. We are proceeding with implementation of our strategy, Roadmap PostNord 2015, to ensure sustainable profitability within Mail and develop our position in the logistics market. A key element of this strategy is the continuous streamlining of the businesses. New initiatives are being implemented to further optimize central administration. Farreaching adaptations to adjust the business areas to mail volume trends are proceeding. During 2013, initiatives within these two areas will reduce our underlying cost base by a total of approximately 1 billion SEK.