At 79 million euros, PostNL reports lower profit than year before
When postal operator PostNL publishes its annual figures on Monday, the focus will be on its Christmas business. After a weaker third quarter, the company is expecting profits again. But because inflation was high, there are also signs that people ordered less online than in previous years. Back then, coronavirus lockdowns also played a big role, prompting people to order rather than go to a physical store if that option was available.
Christmas cards, which saw a resurgence during the pandemic, have also probably become somewhat less popular again. Especially now that people can spend Christmas with family and friends again. Ordinary letter mail has been declining for years. Analysts at PostNL predict that letter volumes will decline by more than 8 percent in 2022. They also predict that 9 percent fewer parcels will be carried.
All this leads the analysts to expect that PostNL's revenue in the last quarter will again be lower than in the same period last year. For example, in the last period of 2020, revenue was just over 1 billion euros, but in 2021 it was 936 million euros. Now experts predict that the postal company will earn just over 900 million euros this year. For 2022 as a whole, analysts on average expect PostNL to generate revenue of just under 3.2 billion euros. That is also less than in the previous two years.
In addition, profits will also be lower, they expect. Of all that revenue, PostNL will retain a normalized gross profit of 79 million euros throughout 2022, the analysts forecast. That compares with 308 million euros in 2021.
Investors will therefore be eagerly awaiting expectations for this year. Several industry peers have already warned that the impact of inflation and increased fuel and energy costs continues to hurt. In addition, a collective bargaining agreement with the BVPP and CNV unions will further increase labor costs. The FNV, however, did not agree to this agreement, and members of this union have continued their strike.
Presumably, relations with major shareholder Daniel Křetínský will also be called into question again. The latter holds a direct 29.9 percent stake in the company. For some time, there has been speculation that he would like to take over PostNL.
Reporting by ANP