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First half 2002: EBIT increase in spite of decline in sales

Pressemeldung from 29.08.2002

Unfavorable economic situation results in lower total sales volume
Increases in sales volume in Info-Mail and Branch Network divisions

In spite of a two-percent decrease in sales as compared to the first half of 2001, Österreichische Post AG was able to achieve an EBIT of EUR 18.7 million in the first half of 2002, a value well in excess of that achieved during the same period last year (14.8 million). In the first half of 2002, sales figures amounted to EUR 739.2 million as compared to 757.1 million in the first half of 2001, operating performance was EUR 763.8 million as compared to 786.1 million.

  First half 2002   First half 2001  Change 
 Sales  739.2  757.1    -2%
 Operating Performance  763.8  786.1    -3%
 EBIT    18.7    14.8   26%
 EGT    20.1    25.9  -22%

(all values in million EUR)

Development of sales volumes in Letters, Courier-Express-Parcel (CEP), Info Mail, Media Services, and Branch Network divisions
The decline in sales is attributable to the negative development of the economy as a whole, which particularly affects the small and medium size customer segment, above all in the Letter division.
In the enterprise sector, the frequency of regular mailings has been significantly reduced or, in part, even stopped completely, private customers and medium-sized enterprises are more and more substituting classic letter products with alternative solutions such as e-mail, Internet, and SMS.
The decrease in sales in the Courier-Express-Parcel division is due to the fact that this sector of business depends strongly on the mail order business, where sales revenues are declining.
The Media Services division has been able to moderately increase sales figures, provided last year’s figures are adjusted by deducting the payments for services in the public economic interest that Österreichische Post AG still received at that time.
The Info-Mail division has managed to raise sales revenues by two percent in spite of the fact that this line of business is particularly dependent on the situation of the economy as a whole. With the acquisition of new customers, it has been possible to compensate for the effects of the weakening overall development of the advertisement market.
An increase in remunerations for counter services and positive developments in the telecommunications product sector resulted in a 4% growth in sales in the Branch Network division. The reorganization carried out in the first half of 2002 and the accompanying resizing of the branch network has shown its first effects - in spite of the resizing activities, customer loyalty has remained the same due to the service and quality offered.

Human resources
Payroll costs have been reduced by three percent from EUR 510.6 million in the same period last year to 496.5 million in 2002. The 6% decline in overtime work contributed significantly to reducing payroll costs. The average headcount for the first half of 2002 was 28,938 full-time equivalents as compared to a 29,823 average for the first half of 2001, which corresponds to a reduction by three per cent or 885 full-time equivalents.

  First half 2002   First half 2001 Change 
 Payroll costs (in million EUR)                496.5               510.6   -3%
 Headcounts (in full-time equivalents)              28,938             29.823   -3%

To Rudolf Jettmar, member of the board in charge of finances, the results achieved in the first half of 2002 confirm that the focus on cost reduction is the right one: “Given the decline in sales revenues due to the general economic situation and the continuing liberalization of the market, staying on a course of cost reduction is more important than ever for the future of Österreichische Post AG.”

For more information please contact:

Österreichische Post AG
Company communication
Press section/ PR
Michael Homola
Tel.: +43 (1) 515 51 - 32010
Vienna, 29 August 2002

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