Challenges reflected in annual result

In the year under review 2019, Swiss Post generated a lower result than in the prior-year period. At 255 million francs, Group profit was down 149 million francs year-on-year. Operating profit declined by 55 million francs, coming in at 450 million francs. The lower result is in line with expectations in a challeng­ing environment, as the overall conditions in the core markets remain difficult for Swiss Post.

The result is in line with expectations in a challenging environment.

Thanks to the tremendous commitment of the various business units and their employees, the result is declining less sharply than the deterioration in the operating framework. In the communication market, the decline in letter volumes can no longer be completely offset by efficiency measures; in the logistics market, the increasing parcel volume requires a high level of investment in infrastructure; and in the financial services market, it is possible to compensate for the low interest income thanks only to pricing measures and positive market value fluctuations.

Driving business growth forward

Swiss Post still has a stable equity and liquidity situation. All investments are financed entirely from our own resources. However, pressure on the result and income is growing, and Swiss Post is about to embark upon a phase of major business growth. To ensure Swiss Post continues to affirm its position in its core markets and drive forward the development of new business areas over the coming years, it will likely have to use its entire investment potential up to the permitted debt level in future. Swiss Post has a window of just a few years to successfully implement the measures required. Swiss Post, its owner and politicians must respond to the forthcoming challenges and develop a common vision of the “Swiss Post of tomorrow”.

Lower letter volumes can no longer be offset

PostMail has continually succeeded in posting good results in recent years, despite the decline in letter volumes. The result was stabilized in the past few years through efficiency and optimization measures, but this is now becoming increasingly difficult. In 2019, PostMail posted operating profit of 370 million francs, down 18 million francs year-on-year. Operating income fell by 106 million francs – two thirds of which is attributable to the decrease in addressed letters alone.

Positive development at Swiss Post Solutions

Swiss Post Solutions has successfully expanded its business activities. Operating profit rose by one million francs to 32 million francs. At 599 million francs, operating income was 16 million francs up on the previous year. The positive result is due to the acquisition of new customers and efficiency increases.

Focus on development of the postal network

PostalNetwork more than compensated for the losses in over-the-counter transactions through network development, systematic adaptation of resources in line with volume development and efficiency increases. Despite these measures, the operating result for 2019 fell by 38 million francs to –132 million francs. This is due to the provisions for restructuring and realignment of the sales organization. Operating income came in at 693 million francs last year, down 60 million francs year-on-year.

Digital commerce accelerating rise in parcel volumes

At PostLogistics, investment stood at its highest level for years in 2019. One of the reasons for this is the investment of hundreds of millions of francs in the new parcel centers. These are required to handle the growing parcel volumes (+7.3 percent) at the usual high standard of quality. Operating profit for 2019 fell by 17 million Swiss francs, coming in at 128 million francs. In particular, provisions and the consequential costs of a legal case in value logistics had a negative impact in this field. Operating income totalled 1,708 million francs, exceeding the previous year’s total by 44 million francs.

PostFinance stabilizes result despite low-interest environment

PostFinance generated an operating profit of 240 million francs last year, representing an increase of 20 million francs. However, this was achieved thanks only to price adjustments to financial services and positive market value fluctuations. The low-interest environment remains a major challenge. Interest income fell significantly again compared to the previous year, decreasing by 164 million francs. Operating income was down 44 million francs to 1,660 million francs.

Realignment with a Swiss focus successful at PostBus

PostBus is very popular with passengers in Switzerland. 167.4 million passengers travelled with PostBus last year. Transport performance – in other words, kilometres travelled – rose by 3.3 percent. The operating result increased by 27 million francs. The fact that it still stands at –24 million francs is mainly due to impairments on investment assets. However, operating income climbed by 2 percent year-on-year due to improved services.

Financial Report, pages 29–47 Key figures (XLS)
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