Second quarter 2023 highlights
- Group operating income at 1,027.6 mEUR, in line with last year (-0.8%).
- Group adjusted EBIT at 68.7 mEUR (margin of 6.7%) down by -16.8%. Group reported EBIT at 65.5 mEUR.
- Total operating income at 557.9 mEUR (up by +4.9%).
- Underlying mail volume decline of -8.3% offset by positive price/mix impact.
- Parcels volumes increased by +7.8% and price/mix impact of +5.3%.
- -6.25 mEUR income impact from preliminary findings of compliance review of services provided to the Belgian State (similar to the first quarter 2023).
- OPEX increase (+6.9%) driven by salary indexations and lower recoverable VAT.
- Adjusted EBIT at 56.8 mEUR (10.2% margin) down by -5.9 mEUR (-9.5%) and reported EBIT at 56.7 mEUR. Stable EBIT when excluding compliance review impact.
- E-Logistics Eurasia
- Total operating income at 163.3 mEUR (+15.3%) driven by the continued expansion of Radial EU and Active Ants (+17.9%), Cross-border sales increase supported by recent customer wins in Asia and IMX integration.
- OPEX increase (+13.9%) from higher transport costs in line with volume development, IMX integration and higher payroll costs.
- Adjusted EBIT at 8.9mEUR (5.5% margin), up by +1.8 mEUR (+24.9%). Reported EBIT at 8.1 mEUR (4.9% margin).
- E-Logistics North America
- Total operating income at 330.0 mEUR down by -48.6 mEUR or -12.8% (-10.7% at constant exchange rate), reflecting lower volumes at Radial and Landmark US (Amazon insourcing).
- Lower OPEX (-12.9% or -10.6% at constant exchange rate) from continued strong variable labor management and productivity gains.
- Adjusted EBIT at 11.2 mEUR, down by -6.9 mEUR. Reported EBIT at 9.0 mEUR. EBIT margin dilution from ongoing pressure at Landmark.
- S&P reaffirms the long-& short-term credit rating at A/A-1, outlook stable.
Philippe Dartienne, CEO a.i. of bpostgroup: “I am pleased to report our good set of results of the second quarter, demonstrating our resilience and strength amidst challenging conditions. Besides the dedication and collective effort of all our colleagues, our group results also reflect the effectiveness of our strategy, leveraging our portfolio and geographical diversification. While our operations in Belgium and Eurasia are performing well and ahead of plan, North America currently faces a softer economic environment but our continuous focus on productivity gains is helping us to weather these headwinds.
We are firing on all cylinders and are making good progress on our management priorities set for the year. In Belgium we reached terms with the social partners on a collective labor agreement for 2023-2024, with a focus on the well-being of our people and the attractiveness of jobs in the field. Additionally, we achieved significant milestones in our e-commerce logistics expansion and sustainability endeavors, notably with the opening of a new cutting-edge fulfilment centre in Groningen for Radial Netherlands, the official launch of a state-of-the-art robotized site for Active Ants UK, and the achievement of the symbolic milestone of 1000 e-vans in our domestic fleet.
As we move forward, our focus now turns to the third quarter, awaiting the outcome of the press concession tender and getting a clearer view on the financial impacts of the ongoing compliance review; which will significantly reduce the current uncertainty surrounding the bpostgroup.”
Management Priorities for 2023
Achievements of the First Half 2023
Strong financial results despite ongoing turmoil
- Management and social partners concluded a CLA for ’23-24, with a focus on well-being and job attractiveness
- Reached symbolic milestone of 1,000 e-vans in our domestic fleet and added new Ecozone in Hasselt bringing total to 13 Ecozones
- E-Logistics Eurasia and North America
- Opening of a cutting-edge fulfilment center in Groningen for Radial NL, official launch of a state-of-the-art robotized site for Active Ants UK and investment in additional capacity at Active Ants BE
- Cross-border: Development of the Asia-Canada lane with volume impact as from 2H23 and improvement of lead-times in UK-NA lanes
- Ongoing productivity and service improvement at Radial NA, matching labor to uncertain demand patterns from clients
- Group: Reinforcement of compliance programs
Focus and priorities for the remainder of the year
Continued focus on operational performance and execution of strategy
- Press concessions: Aim to secure attribution of press concessions but also prepare for future under different scenarios
- Prepare and execute the year-end peak
- E-Logistics Eurasia and North America
- Cross-border: Roll-out of strategic growth plan leveraging synergies of the group geographical presence and last-mile strengths
- Commercial efforts and pipeline development despite current weakness of retail environment
- Year-end peak preparation at Radial NA has started: Focus on agility to manage ongoing demand volatility in inflationary environment
- Group: Provide clarity on impacts from compliance reviews
Outlook for 2023 – update of underlying parameters
Following preliminary results of the compliance review of the services provided to the Belgian State, bpostgroup had to withdraw its initial 2023 EBIT guidance of 240-260 mEUR on April 24, 2023 pending further legal and financial analysis.
While this analysis is still ongoing, bpostgroup nevertheless provides today - in light of the first half year results and based on current macro-economic assumptions for the rest of the year - an update of the parameters underlying the initial guidance, excluding any impact from the compliance review.
For Belgium, excluding any impact of the ongoing compliance review, the outlook is revised as follows:
- 4 to 6% growth1 in total operating income (versus 3 to 5% initially), notably driven by:
- Mail: an underlying Domestic mail volume decline expected between -8% and -10%, offset by price increase and mix impacts.
- Parcel: a mid- to high-single-digit percentage volume growth and a mid-single-digit percentage price/mix impact (versus initially: a mid-single-digit percentage volume growth and a mid- to high-single-digit percentage price/mix impact)
- 7 to 9% adjusted EBIT margin (versus 6.5 to 8.5% initially) including higher payroll costs from full-year impact of the 2022-2023 salary indexations2, higher energy costs, partly mitigated by some efficiency gains in operations and continued cost reduction initiatives.
For E-Logistics Eurasia, the outlook remains unchanged:
- Low double-digit percentage growth in total operating income, driven by:
- Continued growth of Radial Europe and Active Ants, and
- Growing Commercial Cross-Border activities incl. development of new lanes, more than offsetting structural decline in Postal.
- 3 to 5% adjusted EBIT margin reflecting a negative mix effect at Cross-Border and including scale-up of sales organization and start-up costs of new customers at Radial Europe and Active Ants.
For E-Logistics North America, the outlook is revised as follows:
- Low double-digit percentage decline3 in total operating income (versus slightly lower initially) reflecting:
- Amazon’s insourcing at Landmark Global and general price pressure.
- Lower growth momentum at Radial in current market conditions, and overcapacity leading to price pressures.
- 4 to 6% adjusted EBIT margin from tighter labor costs, labor management and costs measures, offsetting price pressures and higher opex and incremental depreciation and amortization from new sites.
 Excluding deconsolidation of Ubiway Retail
 Based on latest monthly forecast, the next +2% salary indexation is expected to occur in January 2024 (versus October 2023 Initially), adding to the ones of February, April, June, September, December 2022 and January 2023. Monthly forecast of the Federal Planning Bureau is publicly available at https://www.plan.be/databases/17-en-consumer_price_index_inflation_forecasts
 Assuming EUR/USD at 1.08 for 2023
Brussels, 03/08/2023 - 5:45 pm