Österreichische Post AG

EANS-Adhoc: Österreichische Post AG
AUSTRIAN POST IN H1 2013: SLIGHT REVENUE GROWTH AND EARNINGS IMPROVEMENT (EBIT +3.9%) IN THE FIRST HALF-YEAR, OUTLOOK CONFIRMED FOR 2013

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  ad-hoc disclosure transmitted by euro adhoc with the aim of a Europe-wide
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Financial Figures/Balance Sheet/6-month report
07.08.2013


- Market environment

  - Ongoing satisfactory mail business in Austria, 
    positive revenue effects due to elections
  - Robust growth in the Austrian parcel market
  - Strong competition in the international parcel business

- Higher revenue
  - Revenue growth of 1.5% (excl. Benelux)
  - Slight growth in both the mail and parcel businesses
- Further earnings growth
  - EBIT up 3.9% to EUR 98.4m
  - Efficiency enhancement and improvement of the cost structure
- Outlook for 2013 confirmed
  - Stable or slightly rising revenue development expected
  - Goal of further earnings improvement

OVERVIEW OF AUSTRIAN POST
The first half of 2013 proceeded very satisfactorily for Austrian Post. In
particular, the mail segment developed gratifyingly during the reporting period.
Although the structural trend caused by declining letter mail volumes as a
consequence of electronic substitution is continuing, growth was achieved thanks
to positive revenue effects. The Austrian parcel market also showed growth
momentum in 2013, which was mainly driven by the ongoing trend towards online
shopping. A more differentiated picture emerges when considering the
international business of Austrian Post. In South East and Eastern Europe, the
company succeeded in generating revenue growth, whereas revenue decreased in
Germany due to the highly competitive market environment there. Here the
efficiency enhancement programme is being continued. The cost basis of the
subsidiary trans-o-flex is being improved by insourcing distribution services in
selected regions and by streamlining structures.
Group revenue, adjusted to take account of the Benelux subsidiaries disposed in
the middle of 2012, rose by 1.5% in the first half of 2013. The mail business
achieved a 1.8% revenue increase as a consequence of acquisitions and positive
revenue effects (elections and referendums), while parcel operations generated a
1.3% rise in revenue (excl. Benelux). Earnings also improved on this basis. EBIT
climbed by 3.9% to EUR 98.4m, and earnings per share were up by 4.5% to EUR
1.12. 
An important milestone in the first half of 2013 was Austrian Post's entry into
the Turkish parcel market. In June, an agreement was reached with the owners of
the parcel services provider Aras Kargo to acquire a 25% stake in the company.
The closing of the transaction took place on July 30, 2013. "On the basis of
this acquisition we entered the promising future market of Turkey, whose parcel
business offers enormous growth potential. Aras Kargo, a leading logistics
provider, boasts an outstanding track record in the Turkish parcel market
combined with a high level of services", says Georg Pölzl, Chief Executive
Officer of Austrian Post. 
In addition to this strategic expansion, Austrian Post's priorities remain the
ongoing increase in efficiency and flexibilisation of its cost structure. The
outlook for the 2013 financial year can be confirmed based on current market
developments. Revenue is expected to remain stable or increase slightly, and the
company is striving to further improve its EBIT.

REVENUE DEVELOPMENT IN DETAIL
In the first half of 2013, Austrian Post's reported revenue of EUR 1,173.1m was
at the same level as in the previous year. Adjusted to take account of the
revenue of EUR 17.3m generated by the disposed and deconsolidated subsidiaries
in the Benelux region in the first half of 2012, the revenue increase in the
first half-year of 2013 amounted to 1.5%. 

REVENUE BY DIVISION*

                                                
                                                 Change           
EUR m                      H1 2012      H1 2013  %       EUR m   Q2 2012 Q2 2013
Total revenue              1,173.1      1,173.1  0.0%    0.0     567.4   570.2
Revenue excl. 
Benelux subsidiaries**     1,155.9      1,173.1  1.5%    17.3    560.9   570.2
Mail & Branch Network      741.6        754.6    1.8%    13.0    356.6   363.7
Parcel & Logistics         430.8        419.0    -2.8%   -11.9   210.1   206.9
Parcel & Logistics 
excl. Benelux**            413.6        419.0    1.3%    5.4     203.6   206.9
Corporate                  5.4          3.7      -30.6%  -1.6    4.1     0.3
Consolidation              -4.7         -4.2     10.2%   0.5     -3.3    -0.6
Calendar working 
days in Austria            124          123      -       -       60      60
                                                
* External sales of the divisions

** The closing of the disposal of trans-o-flex Nederland B.V. took place as of
March 15, 2012, for trans-o-flex Belgium B.V.B.A as of May 31, 2012

Revenue of the Mail & Branch Network Division rose by 1.8%, or EUR 13.0m, to EUR
754.6m. On the one hand, this gratifying development can be attributed to the
consolidation of new subsidiaries in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria (plus EUR
12.5m). On the other hand, the revenue increase is also due to the positive
impetus provided by elections and referendums held in Austria during the first
half of 2013. In addition, services offered in the field of Mail Solutions
posted growth during the reporting period.
In the Parcel & Logistics Division, revenue adjusted to take account of the
disposed subsidiaries in the Benelux region, rose by 1.3% to EUR 419.0m. From a
regional perspective, the Austrian parcel market generated the strongest growth,
whereas revenue declined in Germany.

INCOME STATEMENT
Against the backdrop of a stable revenue development of the Group, revenue
declined in the German parcel and logistics business, which is characterised by
a high share of external transport services. This is the underlying reason for
the decrease in operating expenses for raw materials, consumables and services
used, which fell by 1.9% to EUR 372.4m. 
Staff costs increased slightly year-on-year by 0.6% to EUR 550.6m. This figure
encompasses all operational staff costs as well as non-operational staff costs
in the Group, which are primarily designed to enable a sustainable improvement
in the cost structure. Operational staff costs at EUR 519.3m remained at a
stable level compared to the previous year. Non-operational staff costs, which
include severance payments, restructuring measures and provisions, amounted to
EUR 31.2m in the first half of 2013 compared to the prior-year level of EUR
27.7m. In addition to the usual severance payments, a total of EUR 17.7m was
allocated to the provisions for employee under-utilisation and various
restructuring measures. 
In the first half of 2013, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA) of Austrian Post Group improved by 3.3% to EUR 139.9m.
Accordingly, the EBITDA margin was 11.9%. Earnings before interest and tax
(EBIT) rose by 3.9% to EUR 98.4m, corresponding to an EBIT margin of 8.4%. 

EBIT BY DIVISION

                                                
                                        Change              
EUR m                  H1 2012* H1 2013 %       EUR m   Q2 2012*  Q2 2013
Total EBIT             94.7     98.4    3.9%    3.7     36.4      38.6
Mail & Branch Network  137.0    141.9   3.6%    4.9     60.6      62.9
Parcel & Logistics     11.6     12.4    6.6%    0.8     3.8       5.0
Corporate              -53.9    -56.0   -3.9%   -2.1    -28.0     -29.3

* Apply of the revised standard IAS 19 ahead of schedule: adjustment for staff
costs, results of investments consolidated at equity, income tax and the
respective earnings items


The company also shows a stable development from a divisional perspective. The
Mail & Branch Network Division generated an EBIT of EUR 141.9m, a rise of 3.6%.
This increase is related to positive revenue effects as well as the ongoing
efficiency improvements in the entire mail logistics operations. EBIT of the
Parcel & Logistics Division in the first half of 2013 amounted to EUR 12.4m,
slightly above the level achieved in the prior-year period. This positive
earnings development is mainly attributable to the good performance in Austria.
Overall, the division's EBIT margin was 2.9%.   
After deducting income taxes totalling EUR 20.0m, the Group net profit (profit
after tax) in the first half of 2013 amounted to EUR 76.5m, a rise of 5.2% from
the results of the prior-year period. After deducting the profit for the period
attributable to non-controlling interests, this corresponds to earnings of EUR
1.12 per share, an increase of 4.5%. Q2 2013 earnings per share totalled EUR
0.44 compared to EUR 0.43 in the second quarter of the previous year.  

CASH FLOW
In the first six months of 2013, operating cash flow before changes in working
capital totalled EUR 154.5m, slightly above the prior-year level. On balance,
the changes in net working capital totalled minus EUR 47.2m during the period
under review, of which minus EUR 34.6m can be attributed to the reduction in
current provisions and the related payments of obligations from previous
periods.  
The cash flow from investing activities of minus EUR 84.4m includes cash
outflows for the purchase of property, plant and equipment (CAPEX) totalling EUR
49.9m, including investments of EUR 10.8m relating to the new logistics centre
in Allhaming, Upper Austria, which is expected to be completed and put into
operation by September 2014. In addition, cash outflows of EUR 17.2m were for
acquisitions, mainly for the acquisition of the Romanian company PostMaster
s.r.l. as well as the increased stake in M&BM Express OOD, Bulgaria. The free
cash flow before acquisitions and securities totalled EUR 58.8m in the first
half of 2013.    

EMPLOYEES
The average number of full-time employees at the Austrian Post Group totalled
23,906 people in the first half of 2013. This comprises an increase of 925
employees from the prior-year period, about 1,600 of whom can be attributed to
the newly acquired subsidiaries in Austria, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania. Most
of Austrian Post's labour force is employed by the parent company
Österreichische Post AG (a total of 18,843 full-time equivalents). 

OUTLOOK FOR 2013
Austrian Post maintains its outlook for the entire year 2013. A stable or
slightly positive revenue development is expected for the 2013 financial year.
The mail and parcel business continues to be impacted by the macro trends
described as follows. One is the ongoing volume decline of traditional addressed
letter mail items due to electronic substitution, which is likely to amount to
3-5% p.a., reflecting international trends. In contrast, the market for
addressed and unaddressed direct mail items is likely to remain weak as a
consequence of the slowdown in economic activity. However, positive volume
effects related to various elections in Austria in 2013 will provide additional
impetus in the mail business. The parcel business should continue to profit from
growth in the private customer segment, whereas the intensive level of
competition in the business customer segment is expected to continue, especially
on the German market.
Enhancing the profitability of the mail and parcel services offered will
continue to be a key focal point of the Group's activities. In particular,
Austrian Post will maintain its efforts to promote efficiency increases in its
parcel and logistics business. With respect to sustainable earnings development,
Austrian Post confirms the targeted EBITDA margin in the range of 10%-12% for
the group. The company is also striving to achieve a further improvement in its
earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) compared to the 2012 financial year. The
operating cash flow generated by Austrian Post will continue to be used
prudently and in a targeted manner to finance sustainable efficiency
improvements, structural measures and future-oriented investments. Austrian Post
anticipates total capital expenditure to reach a level of about EUR 90m in 2013.
This will primarily focus on replacement investments in existing facilities as
well as their continuous modernisation and efficiency enhancement. 

PERFORMANCE OF DIVISIONS 
MAIL & BRANCH NETWORK DIVISION 
Divisional revenue developed very positively in the first half of 2013,
increasing by 1.8% to EUR 754.6m. This development can be mainly attributed to
the first-time full consolidation of new Group subsidiaries (plus EUR 12.5m) and
positive effects of various elections and referendums in Austria in the first
half of 2013.   
Revenue in the field of Letter Mail & Mail Solutions improved by 1.8% from the
prior-year period, rising to EUR 397.4m. The substitution of letter mail by
electronic media is continuing as in the past. Such decreases took place, for
example, in the telecommunications customer segment. In contrast, various
elections provided added impetus, due to the fact that the possibility of voting
by absentee ballot has emerged as a popular instrument of direct democracy. New
services offered in the field of Mail Solutions also posted growth.  
Revenue in the field of Direct Mail also increased in the first half of 2013,
climbing by 2.8% to EUR 219.7m. The rise here was due to the newly consolidated
subsidiaries and the positive effects of elections on the business. The weaker
economy and the pressure of online business on retail stores dampened
advertising spending. Media Post revenue was down by 1.2% in the first six
months of 2013 to EUR 70.7m. In contrast, Branch Services revenue developed
positively, rising by 1.1% to EUR 66.8m. This can be primarily attributed to
higher sales of mobile telephony products, which compensated for the decline in
financial services.
On balance, EBIT of the Mail & Branch Network Division improved by 3.6% to EUR
141.9m, which can be attributed to the good revenue development as well as the
ongoing efficiency enhancement measures.  

PARCEL & LOGISTICS DIVISION 
External sales of the Parcel & Logistics Division decreased by 2.8% to EUR
419.0m in the first half of 2013. However, the prior-year period still included
the revenue achieved by the Benelux subsidiaries disposed of during the first
half of 2012. The deconsolidation of the Dutch company took place as of March
15, 2012, and the disposal of the Belgian subsidiary took effect on May 31,
2012. Adjusted to take account of the former Benelux subsidiaries, the division
actually achieved a 1.3% revenue increase in a year-on-year comparison. This
growth was driven by increases in Austria and in South East and Eastern Europe.
In contrast, revenue declined in Germany. 
Premium Parcels (parcel delivery within 24 hours), which are mainly used in the
business-to-business segment, generated revenue of EUR 314.3m in the first half
of 2013, a drop of 4.6% from the previous year. This decline is primarily due to
the deconsolidation of the Benelux subsidiaries as well as the downward trend in
Germany due to the highly competitive market environment. Parcel volumes of
business customers increased at an above-average rate in Austria. Standard
Parcels, which mainly involve shipments to private customers, posted growth.
Revenue rose by 3.5% to EUR 89.6m. Other Parcel Services generated revenue of
EUR 15.1m during the period under review. This field includes various additional
logistics services such as fulfilment, warehousing and cash logistics. 
Earnings of the Parcel & Logistics Division featured an EBIT of EUR 12.4m, a
rise of 6.6% from the previous year. Accordingly, the EBIT margin was 2.9% in
the first half-year. 

The half-year financial report 2013 is available on the Internet at
www.post.at/ir/en --> Publications --> Financial Reports


Further inquiry note:
Austrian Post
Mr. Harald Hagenauer
Head of Investor Relations & Corporate Governance 
Tel.: +43 (0) 57767-30400
harald.hagenauer@post.at 

Austrian Post
Ms. Ingeborg Gratzer
Head of Press & Internal Communications
Tel.: +43 (0) 57767-24730
ingeborg.gratzer@post.at

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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issuer:      Österreichische Post AG
             Haidingergasse  1
             A-1030 Wien
phone:       +43 (0)57767-0
mail:     investor@post.at
WWW:      www.post.at
sector:      Transport
ISIN:        AT0000APOST4
indexes:     ATX Prime, ATX
stockmarkets: official market: Wien 
language:   English
 



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