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La Poste Annual results 2015.
Revenue for the Services-Mail-Parcels business unit slightly increased to €11.461 billion (+0.6% and +0.7% at constant scope and exchange rates). - Mail revenue improved marginally (+0.1%) at €9.334 billion. The average 7% price increase that took place on 1 January 2015 offset almost all of the drop in addressed mail volumes. The development of services offered by postmen, who are now all equipped with Facteo smartphones, helped increase revenue as well. - Parcels saw its revenue grow 2.3% to €1.602 billion in a highly competitive environment.
The increase in volumes (+1.6% compared to -2.7% in 2014, and +2.3% for BtoC volumes only) reflects the results of a strategy to win back market share. The price increases as well as changes in export product mix have also helped improve revenue. - The subsidiaries positioned in the logistics market (Viapost Services) and the unaddressed advertising mail market (Mediapost) posted better results as well, due to aggressive sales policies. Total revenue for these subsidiaries reached €525 million (+7.9% at constant scope). Revenue for the GeoPost business unit, which is positioned in the deferred express BtoB and BtoC markets in France and abroad, continued its remarkably strong growth (+15.3% and +9.1% at constant scope and exchange rates), totalling €5.675 billion. All countries have contributed to this momentum, and especially the United Kingdom (+17%12), Benelux (+14%12), Spain (+9.5%12), Poland (+9.1%12) and Germany (+8%12). This performance was driven by a 10.9% increase in volumes13. BtoC share continued to rise, and now accounts for 30% of volumes, but has a slightly unfavourable price/mix effect (-1.7%). The year was characterised by rolling out home delivery services (Predict) and out-of-home delivery services (Pickup Services) as well as increasing handling capacities (particularly with the launch of Europe’s largest hub in Birmingham that started operations in September).
The Group’s consolidated operating profit totalled €875 million, up 21.6%, and 15.3% at constant scope and exchange rates, due in particular to all of the business units making strong efforts to control operating expenses. Per business unit: Services-Mail-Parcels business unit operating profit rose 66.3% (+64.9% at constant scope and exchange rates) to €697 million, driven by the mail price increase and significant cost reduction efforts to offset rapidly declining mail volumes. Growth was strong in every division. Operating profit for GeoPost amounted to €268 million, down 5.9%. This change includes the non-recurring provision recorded for the French Competition Authority’s investigation of French transportation carriers16. If restated to exclude this provision and scope and exchange rate effects, the business unit delivered a 2.8% growth. Revenue growth absorbed the cost of several development projects as well as the launch of the new DPDgroup brand in 2015, which is becoming Geopost’s identity in Europe. The La Banque Postale business unit’s contribution to the Group's operating profit totalled €851 million, up 1.1% (stable at constant scope and exchange rates). Solid sales momentum and cost control efforts drove this growth, in an environment with unfavourable interest rates and despite the launch of major transformation projects (overhaul of banking distribution and renovation of the bank platform).
The operating ratio continued to improve (-0.6 points) to 82.1%. La Poste Network followed the action plans to control the Group’s expenses. Lowering its costs reduced invoices to the business units and helped improved their competitiveness. Operating profit for the Digital Services business unit improved, but remained negative at -€14 million, due to some non-recurring expenses for the subsidiaries. Excluding nonrecurring items, it posted +€11 million. The net cost of national postal coverage as well as the cost of the headquarters and support departments are deducted from the business units' profits to obtain the Group's consolidated operating profit.
After taking into account financial loss (-€154 million, a €44 million improvement resulting from a decrease in cost of net financial debt), income tax (-€253 million, up €72 million due to an increase in profit before tax) and the contribution of equity associates (€207 million, essentially from CNP Assurances), net profit Group Share reached €635 million, up 23.9% compared to 2014 (up 15.0% at constant scope and exchange rates). Capital expenditure and acquisitions The Group dedicated €778 million17 to a targeted investment policy to support the development of all the business units for 2015. These investments have primarily pertained to improving information systems for all operations, developing express capacities, renovating the post office network and modernising the real estate portfolio, building a digital hub and continuing to equip the Group with electric vehicles. Furthermore, €130 million was dedicated to acquisitions (less cash acquired), primarily to continue expanding the express network abroad and penetrating new growth markets. As a result, GeoPost: • acquired an 80% stake in the share capital of Resto-in, a restaurant market place that offers deferred home delivery of meals in France and in Europe, • acquired a 22% stake in the share capital of the French company Stuart, which operates in the immediate urban delivery segment, • acquired the Australian operator Worldlink Perth (100%) and the British operator Signet UK (100%) in the freight forwarding segment (intercontinental import and export flows) via its subsidiary Tigers, • acquired DPD Systemlogistik in Germany. Partnerships Le Groupe La Poste proactively pursued partnerships in 2015. The Services-Mail-Parcels business unit signed service partnerships with the French National Elderly Insurance Fund and Mutuelle Sociale Agricole to launch support and monitoring products and services that prevent social and geographical isolation and which mainly target isolated elderly people. The GeoPost business unit expanded its strategic partnership with PostNord (leader in logistics solutions in the Scandinavian market), to connect the two partners’ parcel networks to create a network of 26,000 pick-up and drop-off points in Europe. A part of PostNord's delivery fleet will display the DPD brand in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
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