Q4 & FY 2012 results

including update 2015

The Hague

Full press release

Highlights

  • Underlying revenues up 1.7% to €1,190 million
  • Underlying cash operating income €67 million, €32 million below Q4 2011
  • Addressed volume decline 9.1%
  • CLA agreement with unions
  • Continued good performances Parcels and International
  • Fair value adjustment stake TNT Express €49 million
  • Top-up pension payments of €83 million paid following the verdict of the disputes committee
  • Net debt increased by €222 million versus year-end 2011 to €1,224 million
  • Reconfirmation 2015 underlying cash operating income outlook of €300-370 million

CEO statement

Herna Verhagen, CEO of PostNL, states: "Our underlying cash operating income for 2012 was €130 million, in line with our outlook. This is a satisfactory result for a difficult year in a challenging competitive and economic environment.

The initiatives we took to restore our quality levels worked out well. In October our quality was back at standard. We started to prepare for a solid further roll out of the reorganisation. We have thoroughly and successfully tested a phased roll out to lower implementation risk and increase flexibility. The personnel migration towards a part-time organisation will be done in a more phased manner and we will better balance the mix between experienced and new employees. As a consequence, we will have fewer forced redundancies than the previously indicated 2,800. Since 2006 our Mobility programme has helped over 7,000 employees from work to work in their search to find new jobs outside PostNL. The delay in the reorganisation, combined with the expected volume decline of 8-10% to 2015 triggers the need for extra cost savings and a clear focus on our pricing policy.

In 2013 we will restart the roll out of the operational restructuring and implement additional measures that will result in an increase of our cost savings target from €330 to €400 million, of which €110 million was already achieved in 2011 and 2012, leaving a target of €290 million for the period 2013 to 2017. To balance the volume decline, we will increase prices. We will enhance the operational synergies between Mail in the Netherlands and Parcels, through a further integration of the shared backbone. Parcels will continue to focus on profitable growth, including branching out into new verticals and niches. In International, we have turned around our business from 2010 to 2012.

Changes to the pension arrangement, jointly proposed by PostNL and the unions, are currently under review by the pension funds. It is our aim to both reduce pension costs and the risk of further top-up payments. Our underlying cash operating income outlook for 2013 is €20 million to €60 million.

On 14 January 2013, we heard the disappointing news that UPS will not pursue its takeover of TNT Express. Looking at the future, we expect to monetise the stake over the medium term to create better value for shareholders, after we have seen stability return to TNT Express.

For 2015, I am confident that PostNL will be able to generate sustainable cash profitability. Our outlook for 2015 for underlying cash operating income remains €300 million to €370 million. The careful and gradual approach of the further roll out, based on simplification of processes and therefore less disruptive, means that we will be able to achieve the required operational savings. In addition, our overhead costs will be reduced through centralisation and efficiency programmes. Overall, our clear aim is to be an efficient and reliable parcel and mail company, strongly committed to profitable growth in parcels, and to maintain our strong focus on cash while restoring cash dividend in the medium term."