PostNL reports normalised EBIT of €308 million and €288 million free cash flow for FY 2021

The Hague

PDF press release (EN)
PDF persbericht (NL)

Financial highlights

in€ millionQ4 2020Q4 2021FY 2020*FY 2021
Normalised EBIT14093250308
assumed to be non-recurring and related to Covid-194797782
Free cash flow8365186288
Normalised comprehensive income10489200285


  • Record 384 million parcels delivered in 2021, up 13.8% (11.7% excluding impact of Covid-19)
  • Volume development at Mail in the Netherlands -0.3% in 2021, with substitution of around -5% and volumes supported by impact of Covid-19
  • Impact on normalised EBIT from change in VAT regulation for small non-EU goods and other regulation in China and global supply chain disruptions of €(11) million in Q4 (FY 2021: €(17) million)
  • Normalised EBIT at €308 million, at the top end of the outlook of €280 million - €310 million
  • Strong cash flow performance continued in Q4, generating free cash flow of €288 million in 2021, exceeding outlook of €250 million - €280 million
  • Carbon efficiency in grammes per kilometre improved by 18% compared with 2020

Dividend 2021 and share buyback programme

  • Proposed 2021 dividend of €0.42 per share, pay-out ratio 75% of normalised comprehensive income
  • Share buyback programme of €250 million to neutralise assumed dilutive impact from dividends 2021-23
  • Dividend per share to develop in line with business development and complemented by share buyback programme in 2022-23

FY 2022 outlook

  • Normalised EBIT: €210 million - €240 million (2021: €226 million excluding assumed non-recurring impact related to Covid-19)
  • Free cash flow: €110 million - €140 million

CEO statement

Herna Verhagen, CEO of PostNL, said: “2021 again qualifies as an exceptional year, impacted by the pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, we have been recognising and rewarding the efforts and hard work of our people, partners and retailers, who we supported with extra fees during the lock-down period. Thanks to them and the resilience of our business, we showed strong results driven by a solid business performance at Parcels and a strong result at Mail in the Netherlands.

“Our cash flow performance was very strong and exceeded expectations, further strengthening our financial position. I’m pleased that we can propose a dividend of €0.42 per share to our shareholders. In line with our capital allocation framework we have announced a share buyback programme, starting from 1 March 2022.

“We are satisfied with our strong operational performance in Q4 2021, thanks to the well-managed execution of our peak season. Our businesses were flexible and proved strong enough to handle and respond to the exceptional circumstances.

“The current situation in Ukraine is concerning and brings uncertainty for people and the economic environment. We continue the execution of our strategy and further build on our solid financial foundation. This gives us confidence when viewing our longer term business performance and cash generation prospects. We will continue to meet our responsibility by creating long-term value for all our stakeholders and by delivering special moments.”