PostBus is a central pillar of public service in Switzerland.
Swiss Post plays a central role in the everyday life of the people of this country: every day, our delivery staff deliver around seven million letters and half a million parcels to every household in Switzerland, around 450,000 passengers board a Postbus and around 2.7 million customers place their trust in PostFinance for financial services. Approximately 56,000 employees provide high-quality services every day. We are proud of all this.
Looking back on the past year, we can see that it held several important milestones, such as the restructuring of PostBus. The structure of the organization has been simplified and the way services are calculated has completely changed. This allows PostBus to ensure greater transparency for its customers. In addition, Swiss Post sold CarPostal France, fulfilling another promise made in the course of its examination of the incidents surrounding PostBus.
Digitization and competition are having a major impact on Swiss Post’s business. But Swiss Post is not alone – other postal organizations around the world are facing similar challenges. We are all the more pleased to have been named the world’s best postal service by the Universal Postal Union for the third year running. We have been given good marks for our innovative, sustainable development and our services, which are considered to be of great importance for Switzerland.
Year after year, we receive good scores from our customers and also from the supervisory authorities. However, ideas and expectations as to what constitutes a high-quality postal service vary a great deal. Today, Swiss Post is facing fundamental changes. We can only continue to develop our company if we manage to balance the various interests and demands placed on Swiss Post and bring them into line with the market environment.
If we do not succeed in this, the discussions about the structure and organization of postal services will continue to intensify and positions will harden. We believe that the interests of the owner, Swiss Post and politicians with respect to this development must be balanced, so we welcome the fact that this process has now been initiated with the so-called “holistic analysis of Swiss Post”.
It is essential to balance the interests of the owner, Swiss Post and politicians with respect to Swiss Post’s development.
The urgency of this process is also apparent in the 2019 result, which was once again lower than in the previous year. The operating framework and the entrepreneurial straitjacket in which Swiss Post finds itself make it difficult for Swiss Post Group to achieve positive long-term economic development. However, thanks to the intensive efforts made in all business units, the result has not declined to the same extent as the deterioration in general conditions. Our employees, who have contributed to the result with great commitment and excellent performance, deserve a big thank you.
The drivers of this deteriorating operating framework are well known: the decline in volumes at PostMail and the dwindling interest income at PostFinance – the two units that in the past have made the biggest contribution to Swiss Post’s good results – can no longer be offset by income from other business units. Declining business areas, the low interest rate environment that has prevailed for several years and investment in preserving and developing the value of the company are the challenges facing Swiss Post.
Our goal is clear: we want Swiss Post to remain relevant to Switzerland and its population in the future. Going forward, we want to continue to finance the universal service from our own resources without state support. That is why we are setting the course for tomorrow today: by developing our corporate strategy for the years after 2021, and by conducting an urgent dialogue with our owner and politicians. We need a common understanding of the “Swiss Post of tomorrow” that can gain the support of the majority. In particular, we need a regulatory framework and a political environment that allow Swiss Post to achieve sustainable growth, a financially viable universal service and the best services for the country.
Swiss Post has been shaped by entrepreneurial change throughout its 170-year history. Our high level of quality awareness, the nationwide universal service and good accessibility were and are Swiss Post’s raison d’être and values, which we will continue to stand up for in the future.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and Executive Management, we would like to thank our employees for their outstanding work in these challenging times. We would also like to thank our customers for the confidence they show in us day after day.