Interim report January-September 2015: Still on the right track but in an even more challenging world
- Net sales of SEK 9,218m (9,535).
- Adjusted operating income SEK 81m (345).
- Items affecting comparability, net, SEK 48m (0).
- Operating income SEK 33m (345).
- Net income for the period SEK 22m (232).
- Cash flow from operating activities SEK -264m (-271).
- Net sales of SEK 28,917m (29,350).
- Adjusted operating income SEK 426m (421).
- Items affecting comparability, net, SEK 422m (0).
- Operating income SEK 848m (421).
- Net income for the period SEK 615m (256).
- Cash flow from operating activities SEK 749m (-620).
Message from Håkan Ericsson, President and CEO
E-commerce in the Nordic market is growing strongly. Digitization in Denmark was at a record-high pace during the quarter, resulting in considerably lower mail volumes. Continued adaptations in many areas are required to ensure long-term profitability.
In the wake of continued digitization, mail volumes continued to decline, especially in Denmark. In total, mail volumes declined by 11% in the quarter, of which 23% in Denmark and 7% in Sweden. So far this year mail volumes have fallen by 9%, of which 18% in Denmark and 6% in Sweden. This means that the decline has accelerated additionally in Denmark and now only 18% of priority mail volumes remain compared to the top-level year, 1999. It is therefore necessary to implement changes to postal regulations as quickly as possible and to make the regulations sufficiently flexible to enable essential future adaptations based on customers’ continually changing needs. This is a prerequisite for maintaining a universal postal service in the long term under reasonable economic conditions.
In August the Swedish government adopted terms of reference for a commission of inquiry into postal legislation and appointed a special inquiry official to review the postal regulations. The aim is for the official to submit the final report by May 31, 2016. We welcome this inquiry. In Denmark customers’ demand has entailed a shift of volumes from priority to non-priority mail, which means that priority mail has in practice become more of an express service. A substantial increase in the price of priority mail has been announced in order to attain reasonable economic conditions for priority letters.
The Group’s adjusted operating income in Q3 totaled SEK 81m (345). The result for the quarter has been adjusted for items affecting comparability totaling SEK 48m (0). The drop compared to the previous year is mainly due to considerably decreasing mail income in Denmark and the fact that activity in the Norwegian economy has decreased, resulting in lower logistics volumes.
PostNord continues to take initiatives as a leader in e-commerce logistics. In September PostNord organized the E-commerce Forum 2015 in Sweden, in which about 550 retail trade customers, e-commerce customers and suppliers participated. On the theme of consumer power and increased international competition in e-commerce, it is clear that PostNord has leading insight into the Nordic e-commerce industry. The e-commerce segment continues to show strong growth, and B2C parcel volumes rose by 13% during the quarter.
After thorough evaluation of a possible divestment of Strålfors, PostNord has decided to retain Strålfors in the Group. Strålfors’ digital and physical communication operations will be more closely integrated with the Group’s communication products to broaden the customer offering and improve competitiveness. A new business area – Communication Services – will be created, based on the Mail & Communication business area and Strålfors’ service development business.
We are on the right track and are reinforcing our position as a leading communication and logistics operator, but rapidly declining mail volumes present us with major challenges. Further adaptation of capacity, cost efficiency measures and product development are therefore necessary to ensure long-term profitability. With a great focus on customers we will deliver on our promises.
PostNord AB (publ) is required to disclose the above information under the provisions of the Securities Market Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submitted for publication at 08.30 AM CET on October 28, 2015.