PostNL profits jump due to Covid jab invites
The postal and parcel company PostNL had another exceptional year, the company said at the presentation of its annual figures. The coronavirus pandemic created extra work for both the processing and delivery of mail and parcels. The number of packages delivered has never been so high, and the volume decrease in postal deliveries was minimal, partly due to invitations for coronavirus vaccinations the company delivered.
CEO Herna Verhagen pointed out that 2021 started and ended in lockdown, which also outlines the exceptionalism of the year. PostNL delivered a record 384 million parcels last year - a year-on-year increase of almost 14 percent. Despite the coronavirus-related post, PostNL noticed a mail volume decline of 5 percent, in line with the long-term trend.
PostNL achieved a turnover of almost 3.5 billion euros, compared to barely 3.3 billion euros a year earlier. The gross profit amounted to 308 million euros, 58 million euros more than in 2020. Of that result, approximately 82 million euros was coronavirus-related and therefore not structural. Verhagen still expects something extra from coronavirus post this year, like sending invitations for the booster campaign. But in general, the coronavirus post provided a nice bonus that she hopes will not return.
PostNL also noticed that the stricter VAT rules on small parcels from outside the European Union and other laws and regulations in China are pressuring its performance. Together with disruptions in the supply chains, these rules reduced gross profits by 17 million euros last year. In the traditionally busy closing quarter of the year, the impact on gross profit was 11 million euros, according to PostNL. Since July 1, consumers must pay VAT on smaller packages from outside the EU. China is also cracking down on the trade in counterfeit goods.
PostNL is passing on the results to shareholders and staff. The company pays 0.42 euros in dividend per share and buys 250 million euros in its own shares. In addition, staff covered by a collective labor agreement will receive a profit distribution of 2 percent. The company previously paid shops and other subcontractors collaborating with PostNL between 35 million and 40 million euros.
Reporting by ANP