Post AG profit jumps despite fewer letters

Österreichische Post AG (Post AG) has managed to increase its profit despite fewer letters being set in Austria.The state-owned postal services provider said today (Tues) its profit soared by 48.5 per cent to 118.4 million Euros from 2009 to 2010. Turnover however edged down by 0.2 per cent to 2.357 billion Euros.The company, which is headed by former T-Mobile Germany manager Georg Pölzl, said its earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) increased by five per cent to 156.9 million Euros. Post AG’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) declined by 2.6 per cent to 262.1 million Euros.The firm – which said it expected its turnover to improve by one to two per cent this year to 2010 – explained its letter sending department suffered a 0.5 per cent decline in turnover last year. Post AG argued more and more Austrians were using the e-mail technology to send messages and stay in touch with friends, family and business partners.The postal services provider however also recorded more demand in sending parcels and advertising material in 2010 than in 2009. Post AG said it expected the number of parcels to rise by six per cent this year, while the number of letters could decline by another three to five per cent.The firm explained today that 1,117 of its 1,850 branches across Austria are so-called Post Partner offices. The term describes groceries, petrol stations and town halls which provide basic postal services to compensate the closure of traditional branches.Post AG said last month that the fee for posting a letter weighing 20 grams or less will increase from 55 to 62 Eurocents in May. The firm stressed there had been no price increases for seven years although its personnel costs climbed by 25 per cent during the same time.Post AG is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange’s (WBAG) Prime Market. One share cost 21.85 Euros at 11am today, down from 22.65 Euros on 23 February.