The annual turnover for POST Luxembourg in 2018 saw a 7.4% increase to €827 million.
On Tuesday 21 May 2019, POST Luxembourg presented its results for the last year at its annual balance-sheet press conference. While 2018 was expected to be difficult, the public company recorded a turnover increase of €57.4 million, bringing it to €826.9 million. This increase has been partly attributed to the global integration of two subsidiaries within the scope of consolidation.
All of POST's businesses (postal, financial, telecommunications/ICT) contributed to these results, partly through effective cost control. Compared with 2017, the POST Luxembourg Group thus increased its operating income and stabilised consolidated net income. Indeed, net income for the year amounted to just over €33 million, slightly down on the previous year.
Claude Strasser, Managing Director of POST Luxembourg, explained: "2018 was a pleasant surprise in terms of our results. But we must, however, remain cautious. The environment remains very competitive with strong pressure on prices, which forces us to control our costs".
The Group's postal business continued to be influenced by the usual evolution of the market, characterised by digitalisation. The decline in national letter volumes was less pronounced than expected (-2%) due to the 2018 elections and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Meanwhile, parcel volumes continued to grow rapidly last year, totaling 3.5 million parcels, an increase of almost 30% compared to 2017. In 2018, 97% of packages were delivered within one business day.
In addition, the logistics activities implemented by POST Luxembourg in 2017 have been expanding beyond expectations: in 2018, four million packages from Asia enabled POST to contribute to Luxembourg's positioning as a European parcel distribution hub.
The effects of the tariff adjustment introduced in 2017 continued to be felt in the field of postal financial services, with a steady decline in paper transfers and counter transactions since 2015, while financial transactions are becoming increasingly electronic. Claude Strasser explained: "Thanks to this measure, we are seeing the first successes in orienting the behavior of our customers towards digital. However, the tariff reform had only a minor impact on the turnover of the business."
In the telecommunications sector, where the market is characterised by a decline in conventional telephony, recurring infrastructure investments and strong competitive pressure, POST Luxembourg has managed to maintain consistent results compared to the previous year. 2018 was the first full year of the European roaming regulation, "Roam like at home", which was introduced in mid-June 2017. In this context, POST Telecom SA found that the consumption behaviour of its customers changed significantly. In August 2017, mobile data consumption abroad in the EU was more than 1,100% higher than in 2016 when Roam like at home was in a transitional phase. Compared with 2017, the month of August 2018 saw a further increase of 92%. Between 2015 and 2018, the net cost for POST was around €12 million.
In addition, as in previous years, great importance was attached to extending the fiber optic infrastructure. At the end of 2018, nearly two-thirds of Luxembourg households were eligible for this new infrastructure offering speeds of up to 1 Gbit / s. Similarly, POST solutions for businesses, such as ConnectedOffice launched in 2018 for small and medium-sized businesses, have experienced growth.
In the ICT sector, revenue also increased, driven primarily by Cloud and Managed Services, as well as by solutions in the cybersecurity domain. In 2018 alone, POST deployed more than 100,000 SIM cards in objects, such as cars.
For the POST Luxembourg Group, there were also some changes in 2018: the merger between POST Telecom SA and POST Telecom PSF SA; entry into the capital of the Encevo Group; creation of LUXHUB SA (with three other Luxembourg banks); the complete takeover of JOIN and Michel Greco SA. The Group's scope of consolidation thus currently includes around twenty subsidiaries.
Finally, in 2018, the POST Luxembourg Group employed some 4,596 people of 47 nationalities. The increase in headcount has been attributed to the complete takeover of the Digora and JOIN in the scope of consolidation. The POST Luxembourg Group also remained Luxembourg's leading employer last year. In terms of what 2019 has in store, Claude Strasser commented: "The coming year promises to be marked by a number of innovations."