Post AG turnover up by six per cent

Austrian postal services company Post AG has managed to increase its turnover and earnings.

The partly state-owned firm said yesterday (Weds) it achieved a turnover of 605.7 million Euros in the first quarter, six per cent more than in the same period of 2011. Earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) climbed by 14.4 per cent to 48.8 million Euros.

Post AG has around 23,000 full-time staff. With over 19,000, the lion’s share is employed in Austria. Post AG boss Georg Pölzl said his firm was currently checking the potential for takeovers in the now liberalised postal services market of Eastern Europe. He refused to disclosed further details concerning these plans. Post AG bagged a 26 per cent interest in PostMaster, a Romanian company, in October 2010.

ÖIAG, the Federal Industry-Holding Stock Corporation, manages the Republic of Austria’s 52.9 per cent stake in Post AG. The holding is also on charge of the state’s 31.5 per cent interest in energy sector top dog OMV AG and its 28.4 per cent Telekom Austria (TA) stake.

OMV had a turnover of 34 billion Euros in 2011, 46 per cent more than in 2010. The Viennese company has nearly 30,000 employees. TA – which is headed by Hannes Ametsreiter – made a net profit of 46.9 million Euros in the first three months of this year. The firm suffered a loss of almost 80 million Euros in the first quarter of 2011.

People’s Party (ÖVP) Vice Chancellor Michael Spindelegger recently suggested to reduce the state’s engagement in the firms. While the ÖVP head’s call for a sale of shares went unheard at the office of the Social Democrats (SPÖ), he managed to convince the SPÖ that Federal Railways (ÖBB) must opt for stricter austerity.

Post AG’s turnover improved by more than four per cent from 2010 to 2011 to 2.3 billion Euros despite a declining number of letters and postcards. Post AG’s employees received a per capita bonus of 750 Euros per capita due to the company’s strong performance last year. Post AG’s Ebit shot up by over seven per cent to 168.3 million Euros from 2010 to 2011.

Post AG is expected to keep expanding the network of Post Partners. More than 1,200 private enterprises are currently operating as Post Partners across the country. They offer basic postal services to compensate for the closure of regular post offices. Customers of Post Partner groceries, call shops and newsagents can post letters and pick up parcels. Pölzl said Post AG was saving 40,000 Euros a year with each new Post Partner cooperation. He said a poll had shown that around 90 per cent of Post Partner clients were happy with the service.

Post AG – which bought 728 Fiat Doblo vans last year – increased the price for posting regular-sized letters by seven Eurocents to 62 Eurocents one year ago. Pölzl – who worked in the top-tier management of T-Mobile Germany before taking over at Post AG – justified the measure at that time by pointing out that the fee had remained the same for seven years despite a sharp increase of costs.