Number of Post Partners soars

There are more than 1,200 so-called Post Partners in Austria, federal postal services provider Post AG announced today (Fri).

The company has closed hundreds of regular post offices in the past years to save costs. Laws demand that the firm provides a comprehensive service to people everywhere in Austria. This is why Post AG agreed with groceries, petrol stations, internet service shops and other private businesses to set up own desks where they provide basic postal services and products to citizens.

Post AG – which has 23,250 employees, down from more than 24,000 in August 2010 – explained today there were 1,212 Post Partner branches in the country today. The number of regular post offices declined to 664, according to the company in which the Republic of Austria holds a stake of 52.8 per cent via Federal Industry-Holding Stock Corporation ÖIAG.

The full liberalisation of postal services in January 2011 has had little impact on Post AG, figures presented today show. The company managed to increase its earnings before interest and taxes (ebit) by 9.1 per cent to 81.3 million Euros from the first six months of 2010 to the equal period of this year. Its turnover improved by 2.9 per cent to 1.138 billion Euros at the same time. Especially Post AG’s packages and logistics department fared well between January and June 2011, according to today’s business report. The firm’s branches suffered a loss in turnover at the same time.

Post AG – which is headed by former T-Mobile Germany manager Georg Pölzl – said today it was optimistic about operations in the coming months due to an expected increase of parcel delivery orders and more advertising mail. The company announced it expected its annual turnover to jump by 2.9 per cent compared to last year.

Post AG was widely criticised earlier this year for charging more for sending letters. The firm decided to increase the fee for posting letters weighing 20 grams or less and postcards by seven Eurocents to 62 Eurocents as of 1 May. The company argued it charged 55 Eurocents for seven years despite a 25 per cent increase of personnel costs.