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News vom 09.10.2007

Austrian Post and trans-o-flex set course for expansion in Europe

Strong position in German niche markets – plans to extend market leadership in the health care and pharmaceutical sectors – further acquisitions envisioned

Austrian Post and its German logistics subsidiary trans-o-flex will continue pursuing an expansion course in Germany and Europe, with the intention of acquiring additional companies. This was announced by Anton Wais, Chairman of the Management Board of Austrian Post, and Klaus J. Heinz, Speaker of the Management Board of trans-o-flex, speaking at a joint press conference in Frankfurt today. 

Enhancement in the value of the trans-o-flex brand
“trans-o-flex offers an ideal strategic platform for the further international expansion of Austrian Post“, Anton Wais says in commenting on the joint strategy. “We will further exploit the success of trans-o-flex as a brand and increase its value. We affirm our complete support for the company and its management in their efforts to continue pursuing the business strategy which has been mapped out, attracting customers through innovative industry solutions and quality leadership“, he adds. As a consequence of the acquisition of a 74.9 % stake in trans-o-flex at the end of 2006, Austrian Post has been able to considerably strengthen its Parcel & Logistics Division, promote the market entry into the B2B parcels segment in Austria (shipments among companies), and accelerate its international expansion efforts. The formal closing of the transaction involving the acquisition of the companies “Van Osselaer Pieters Colli Service“ (VOP) in Belgium and “Dedicated Distribution Services“ (DDS) in the Netherlands first took place on October 1, 2007. “These firms will be integrated into EURODIS, the European distribution network of trans-o-flex, as soon as possible, as a step towards strengthening the network“, Anton Wais says. VOP and DDS are former trans-o-flex subsidiaries, which had been acquired by DHL in the interim. 

Unique selling proposition: clear-cut sectoral focus and combined freight
“With these partners, trans-o-flex will be able to decisively expand its market position in the Benelux region, which is very important for our customers“, adds trans-o-flex CEO Klaus Heinz. “Together we will profit from the above-average growth in international mail volumes“. In the light of tough competition in the European logistics market, trans-o-flex will continue its strategy of achieving “controlled, profitable growth“, consistently taking advantage of the company’s distinguishing features. trans-o-flex is the only large logistics provider with a clear-cut focus on particular branches. In addition, as a provider of “combi-freight“ services, it is able to offer customers extremely flexible service under one roof, through the combined transport of good either as parcels or pallets. The company’s core branches are the pharmaceutical, health care, cosmetic, consumer electronics and home entertainment industries with special logistics requirements. “We are the undisputed market leader for the pharmaceutical and health care sectors, and want to stay the number one“, Heinz says. “With our latest innovations, we clearly demonstrated how we even intend to expand our market position“. 

Innovation on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry
trans-o-flex recently launched a new service which makes it the very first logistics company enabling its customers to meet the increasingly stringent legal requirements pertaining to the transportation and storage of medical products. The “ThermoControl“ premium service, available starting in November, will enable drug manufacturers for the first time to fulfil the stipulations contained in the new German Ordinance on the Production of Pharmaceuticals and Active Substances (AMWHV), requiring the ongoing monitoring and documentation of critical parameters. Specially-designed equipment measures and records temperature and air humidity throughout the entire transport process. Two light emitting diodes optically indicate whether or not the selected temperature range has been kept. If, for example, the temperature range has been exceeded or fallen below, the goods will be subject to a special treatment procedure that depends on the individual standards defined by the dispatcher. Options range from marking and storing the products away to returning them to the dispatcher. Moreover, trans-o-flex also introduced to its customers the new “Premium Delivery“ service, which is designed to enable recipients to further optimise their internal flow of goods. “As a result, we will be able to significantly reduce the workload for recipients such as hospital pharmacies and the wholesale pharmaceutical sector“, Klaus Heinz adds. 

Strong presence in Germany
In addition to trans-o-flex, Austrian Post operates on the German postal market through its subsidiaries AUSTRIAN POST International, meiller direct and Scanpoint. These companies specialise in national and international letter mail as well as mailings. Total revenues of the four companies, which have approximately 2,250 employees, is about EUR 600m. 

Rapid growth in Eastern Europe
Austrian Post also aims to expand its business activities in the parcels and specialist logistics segments in Eastern Europe, on the basis of its parcel services companies in Croatia (Overseas), Slovakia (SPS and In Time) as well as in Hungary (Merland Express and Road Parcel). At present, Austrian Post directly or indirectly employs more than 4,500 people in these countries, achieving above-average growth rates. 

About Austrian Post
Austrian Post, with its corporate headquarters in Vienna, is Austria’s leading provider of postal and logistics services. Total 2006 revenues amounted to EUR 1,736.7m. In addition to the delivery of letters, addressed and unaddressed mail items (Mail Division), the Parcel & Logistics Division is the most important contributor to Group revenues. The Mail Division and the Parcel & Logistics Division actively operate in Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany. The Branch Network Division provides postal and financial services, and also markets retail products. Austrian Post has been publicly listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since the end of May 2006, and is thus the third publicly listed postal services provider in Europe. For more information, refer to www.post.at
 
About trans-o-flex:
trans-o-flex, based in Weinheim, Germany, is a logistics group active throughout Europe, In Germany, via its express delivery service, it offers a full-coverage network for the efficient and safe transport of parcels and pallets (“combi-freight“). Apart from its nationwide 24 hour deliveries with numerous express and added-value options such as hazardous material transport, trans-o-flex has developed the EURODIS network, which provides delivery services in European countries, making trans-o-flex one of the leading combi-freight service providers in Europe. The company implements tailor-made logistics concepts and has developed numerous solutions for specific sectors, for instance the pharmaceutical and consumer electronics / home entertainment industries. The trans-o-flex network is also capable of transporting hazardous goods in large quantities. Annual sales of the group, which has 1,025 employees, amounted to EUR 480m in 2006. Since January 2007, a majority stake in trans-o-flex has been held by Austrian Post. For more information, refer to www.trans-o-flex.de.  

Contact:
Austrian Post Austrian Post
Michael Homola Harald Hagenauer
Public Relations Investor Relations and Public Relations
Tel.: +43 (0) 577 67 – 32010 Tel.: +43 (0) 57767 – 30400
E-Mail: michael.homola@post.at E-Mail: harald.hagenauer@post.at  

trans-o-flex Schnell-Lieferdienst GmbH & Co. KG
Sabine Kolaric
Hertzstraße 10
69469 Weinheim, Germany
Tel. +49 6201 988-134
pr@tof.de


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