PostNord: Year-end report 2021 – a historically strong year with a challenging finish
Fourth quarter 2021
Net sales totaled SEK 10,843 million (10,978), a decrease of -1 percent (11) in fixed currency for like-for-like units
Parcel volumes increased overall by 1 percent (27) as a result of growth in business-to-business
Mail volumes decreased by -10 percent (-11) as a result of ongoing digitalization
Operating income (EBIT) totaled SEK 762 million (843)
Full year 2021
Net sales totaled SEK 40,693 million (38,729)
Operating income (EBIT) totaled SEK 2,481 million (2,421)
Net income for the period totaled SEK 1,989 million (1,711)
Earnings per share were SEK 0.99 (0.85)
Cash flow from operating activities totaled SEK 4,011 million (4,151)
The Board of Directors proposes that no dividend be paid in respect of the 2021 financial year.
Comments from Annemarie Gardshol, CEO
A historically strong year with a challenging finish
Looking at the full year 2021, it is pleasing to note that we are delivering the highest annual result since PostNord was established in 2009. This is mainly explained by a very strong parcels business, with exceptionally high volumes over the year as a whole due to a robust e-commerce sector in the wake of the pandemic.
The Group's sales in the fourth quarter amounted to SEK 10,843 million (10,978), representing a decrease of -1 percent from the previous year. Operating income for the quarter was SEK 762 million (843). Results were negatively impacted by lower mail volumes, in line with the historical trend, as well as by challenging conditions for planning the parcels business, resulting in production costs that were slightly too high. Forecasting volume trends during the current period of restrictions is difficult, and fully adjusting our capacity at short notice to align with volume trends is challenging. Profitability was also negatively affected by increased transport costs, which was most evident in Sweden. In addition, the outbreak and spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 led to high sickness rates and increased personnel costs.
In Norway, the extensive restructuring of production has now been fully implemented, increasing our capacity in the Oslo region. Our results should also be seen in light of the fact that the end of 2020 was a very strong period for PostNord.
Continued innovation and adaptation of service offerings
We continue to strengthen our parcels business, with investments in our terminals and the roll-out of an additional 3,000 parcel lockers during 2021. In the fourth quarter, we further strengthened our home delivery offering in Sweden with guaranteed home delivery of Varubrev (our small parcel delivery service to the door). It is pleasing to note that since the end of the year, PostNord has been the most attractive brand in the industry to consumers in both Sweden and Denmark.
Updated agenda for sustainable logistics
In the fourth quarter, we adopted new targets for PostNord's sustainable logistics agenda. The updated agenda extends to the middle of the decade. I am very pleased to note that we have launched an agenda that will clearly contribute to positive change for the people around us. It will radically reduce the carbon footprint of transport in the Nordic market and lay the foundations for completely fossil-free operations by 2030. By no later than 2027, all our last-mile transport will be emission-free over the whole Nordic region.
Balance between focus on costs and investment in the business
In the context of our improvement programs, and the major transformation we are engaged in, we are moving forward via balanced investments in technology and service offerings. We will also continue our efforts to reduce costs and raise productivity in all stages of production to ensure our continued competitiveness.
This report, presentation material and video are available on our Group website.
Contact: Malin Nordén. This information is of such a nature that PostNord AB (publ) is obliged to make it public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted, through the agency of the contact person defined above, for publication at 08:30 CET on February 2, 2022.