In 2021, the POST Group achieved a turnover of EUR 898.9 million. This increase is mainly due to the integration of LuxTrust into the consolidation scope, with an organic growth of around 2.1%. The year ended with a gross operating profit (EBITDA) of EUR 159 million, an increase of EUR 5.6 million compared to the previous year.
After four years of growth, the Group closed the year 2021 with a net profit down by EUR 7.5 million to EUR 28.7 million. This is mainly due to a EUR 13.6 million decrease in the financial result, which benefited from the sale of financial assets in 2020, and a higher direct tax charge in 2021 compared to 2020.
Claude Strasser, Managing Director of POST Luxembourg: “Overall, I would describe the 2021 results as solid, in line with our expectations. However, I prefer to measure the results over a longer time horizon. And the year 2021, just like 2020, must be analysed with care, because the effects of the crisis are multiple and very varied. In 2021, even though the crisis situation continued to weigh on the morale of each of us while our day-to-day work was marked by the restrictions imposed due to the health crisis, POST succeeded in continuing the transformation process of its three historical activities by focusing on the digital transformation as well as on a very substantial volume of investment.”
The Telecom segment remains the main contributor. Its share of consolidated revenues rose by 1.3% to EUR 485.9 million thanks to the growth of the mobile and business solutions segments, despite the structural decline in fixed-line telephony, which, thanks to lockdown in 2020, has recorded an upturn. POST expects a general increase in data consumption of over 30% per year. In order to proactively accompany this development, POST aims to expand its fibre coverage from 77% currently to 90% of households by 2025. This effort will be complemented by the ongoing rollout of the 5G network.
Claude Strasser: “The significant investments made in recent years in 5G, All IP and optical fibre are bearing fruit with the main objective of guaranteeing our customers the best experience in terms of fixed and mobile connectivity.”
On the other hand, the turnover of the Finance activity fell by 8.8% to EUR 22.2 million. This decline is attributed to the impact of interest income, in a context of negative rates on interbank placements, amplified by the increase in savings since the health crisis.
Claude Strasser: “The persistently low interest rates are incompatible with POST Finance’s business model and have led us to react, during 2021, with the deployment of a new commercial strategy. Based on the principle of financial inclusion and simplification of the offer, this strategy goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the cost-free CCP account as well as the rebilling of negative interest on deposits exceeding EUR 250,000. However, POST Finance remains a trusted partner accessible to all with a very attractive offer with transparent pricing. While the commercial success is very promising, it is a fact that the new strategy will only produce its financial effects from 2022 onwards, as the financial year 2021 suffered from historically low interest rates.”
For POST Courrier, both the volume of letters, temporarily amplified by the effects of the crisis, and the volume of parcels, which has been structurally on the rise for years, contributed to the good result of the most ancient activity. The contribution of the Courrier business to consolidated turnover thus increased by 4.6% to EUR 199.5 million. “It is clear that our strategy of gradually integrating the parcels and mail activities has been a success. We now have a solid distribution network, which has enabled us to withstand the vagaries of the crisis over the past two years. The logistics activity has been somewhat disrupted both because of the health crisis and because of the regulatory changes that came into effect on 1 July 2021 concerning customs regulations,” concluded Claude Strasser.
Finally, the Group’s other entities achieved a turnover of EUR 191.4 million, an organic increase of 2.9%, driven in particular by the subsidiaries active in the ICT field.
Investments made in 2021 increased by EUR 13.1 million to EUR 150.6 million. In particular, they are related to fibre optics, having a total gross value of approximately EUR 500 million at the end of 2021, the deployment of 5G, the development of telecommunications software and the construction of the future headquarters of POST Luxembourg, which will be completed by the end of 2022.
Serge Allegrezza, Chairman of the Board of Directors of POST Luxembourg, explained the exceptional position of POST: “Apart from the construction of the future headquarters, which is partly financed with the company’s own liquidity reserves, the investments made in 2021 3/3 are entirely financed by the liquidity generated by the company’s own activity resulting from its turnover, without any allocation from the state. All investments, past and future, are fully paid for by own means. The impact of POST Luxembourg is well illustrated by the added value created in 2021 which amounts to EUR 927.9 million. POST alone contributes to 1% of the GDP of the Grand Duchy.”
Press release from POST Luxembourg