Business update for first quarter 2009

Amsterdam - Amongst the items on the agenda of the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders today are the retirements of three members of the Supervisory Board, the reappointment of one member of the Supervisory Board, the appointment of a new member to the Supervisory Board, the reappointment of a member of the Board of Management and the dividend proposal.

During his presentation on the developments in 2008, TNT CEO Peter Bakker will discuss the 2008 results and provide an update on the pensions situation in the Netherlands. He will also speak about the agenda for 2009 as outlined at the full year results presentation on 16 February 2009:
 

Express

  • Implement structural cost savings (network)
  • Manage country incurred costs down in line with volumes
  • Continue growth Emerging Platforms

Mail

  • Master plan initiatives in the Netherlands
  • CLA negotiations to more market conform levels
  • Continue growth Emerging Mail & Parcels

Group

  • Focus on cash
  • Potential Royal Mail strategic partnership
  • Delivery solutions
As regards the first quarter of 2009, TNT will also give an update on developments in the company’s business.
 
Express international volume development in Q1 2009 overall was in line with indications given on 16 February. The first two weeks of January were severely impacted by factory closures.  Weeks 3 to 11 saw volume declines worse than in December 2008, however, the development has stabilised during the quarter, with Air volumes 23% and Road volumes 15% below Q1 2008. Domestic volumes were 8% below Q1 2008; the development during the quarter was stable in line with the international development. The last two weeks of March improved, mainly because of the timing of Easter, this year in Q2 and last year in Q1. The yield, as a measure of the price development, was lower than in Q1 2008 mainly because of reduced fuel surcharges in line with lower fuel prices. Good progress was made in the cost savings initiatives announced in December 2008. Overall, the operating income for the quarter in Express is expected to be  positive, whereas the sharp decline in weeks 1 and 2 and the positive contribution from the Easter timing balance out.
 
Volume developments in the Mail division are in line with the indications given on 16 February 2009.
 
On 9 March 2009, TNT and the unions reached an agreement in principle on a new collective labour agreement in the Netherlands for Operations employees in Mail (see http://group.tnt.com). This agreement is still to be ratified by the employees. The new CLA will save € 125 million a year, which forms an important part of the previously announced Master plan targeting annual savings of €395 million by the end of 2015.
 
The additional cash out for pensions in 2009 is expected to be around €50 million rather than the previously indicated around €140 million. This reduction from €140 million to €50 million is caused by:
  • The decision by the Minister for Social Affairs and Employment to extend the period during which a pension plan needs to recover its financial buffers from three years to five years.
  • Instead of additional one-off contributions to restore to the minimum required coverage ratio of 105% in five years, it has been established to apply a solvency mark-up to the regular contributions so that the coverage ratio is up from 93% to 120% in fifteen years and to 105% within the required timeframe.
 
TNT will publish its 2009 first quarter results on 4 May.
 
After the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders TNT will publish a short press release on the decisions taken and appointments announced.
 
The full agenda is also available online.