Posten Norge has announced revenue of Nkr5.9bn (US$717m) in the second quarter of 2018, a decrease of 1.4% compared with the same period in 2017.
However, adjusted operating profit in Q2 amounted to Nkr214m (US$25.7m), an increase of Nkr158m (US$18.9m) compared with Q2 2017, thanks to improved profit in the logistics and mail segments, due to the higher number of working days in the second quarter as Easter fell in the first quarter.
Tone Wille, CEO of Posten Norge, said, “The financial performance in the second quarter was, as forecast, somewhat better than the first. However, challenges remain in both segments.
“Investments in industrialization and streamlining of the Norwegian logistics network generate short-term additional costs, which means that we have not been able to convert the healthy revenue growth into higher profits in the logistics segment.
“In the mail segment, the fall in mail volume was higher than expected at the start of 2018. This has meant that the measures implemented are no longer sufficient to maintain satisfactory profitability.”
Adjusted operating profit in the second quarter for the logistics segment was Nkr51m (US$6.1m), representing an improvement of Nkr53m (US$6.3m) on the same quarter in 2017. There was solid growth in piece goods, business packages and e-commerce to consumers, as well as in domestic and international freight forwarding and transport.
A steady influx of new customers resulted in increased revenue for express services across the Nordic region. Revenue in offshore operations was still affected by low project activity in the oil sector.
“Posten Norge is meeting increased demand by investing in expanded capacity and higher efficiency in the logistics network. At the same time, we are increasing service levels and getting closer to our customers with new services and wider choice. We see that customers are responding positively and that large online stores in the Nordic countries are choosing us,” explained Wille.
In the second quarter, adjusted operating profit for the mail segment was Nkr206m (US$24.7m), an increase of Nkr100m (US$12m) compared with 2017.
The increase is partly due to the fact that the Storting (the Norwegian parliament) approved a supplementary allowance of Nkr342m (US$41m), for the public procurement of universal service obligations that are commercially unprofitable. Half of the supplementary allowance was recognized in income in the first half of the year.
“It is positive that the Storting has granted additional funds which means that the state fully covers the additional costs associated with maintaining mail distribution five days a week,” continued Wille.
In the first half of 2018, addressed mail volume in Norway fell by 11.2% compared with the same period in 2017. Compared with the previous year, e-commerce from China decreased in the first half of the year by around 9%. Imports from China are estimated to make up about 30% of letters and small packages from abroad.