PostNL profits jump due to Covid jab invites

Postal and parcel company PostNL had another outstanding year, the company said when presenting its annual figures. The coronavirus pandemic has created additional work for the processing and delivery of mail and packages. The number of parcels delivered has never been higher and the decrease in the volume of mailings has been minimal, in part due to the invitations for coronavirus vaccinations that the company has delivered.

CEO Herna Verhagen pointed out that 2021 started and ended with a lockdown, which also describes the year’s exceptionalism. PostNL delivered a record 384 million parcels last year, a year-on-year increase of almost 14%. Despite the coronavirus-related publication, PostNL saw a drop in mail volume of 5%, in line with the long-term trend.

PostNL achieved a turnover of nearly 3.5 billion euros, against barely 3.3 billion euros a year earlier. Gross profit amounted to 308 million euros, i.e. 58 million euros more than in 2020. Of this result, around 82 million euros were related to the coronavirus and therefore not structural. Verhagen is still expecting something more from the coronavirus this year, such as sending invitations for the recall campaign. But overall, the coronavirus post provided a nice bonus that she hopes doesn’t return.

PostNL has also noticed that stricter VAT rules on small parcels from outside the European Union and other laws and regulations in China are putting pressure on its performance. Combined with disruptions to supply chains, these rules reduced gross profits by 17 million euros last year. In the traditionally busy last quarter of the year, the impact on gross profit was 11 million euros, according to PostNL. Since July 1, consumers have to pay VAT on small parcels from outside the EU. China is also cracking down on the trade in counterfeit products.

PostNL forwards results to shareholders and staff. The company pays 0.42 euros in dividend per share and buys 250 million euros of its own shares. In addition, staff covered by a collective labor agreement will receive a 2% profit distribution. The company previously paid stores and other subcontractors working with PostNL between 35 and 40 million euros.

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