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Österreichische Post AG

Pressemeldung from 25.09.2002

Again no decision taken by price control commission
Operational efficiency of the enterprise at risk

Today’s meeting of the price control commission has, once again, not reached a decision on the proposal for rate modifications submitted by Österreichische Post AG. In the opinion of the price control commission, some issues in the proposal, which was submitted to the price regulating authority already weeks ago, still need to be clarified, in spite of the fact that Österreichische Post AG has explained and justified in detail all of the proposed changes. Österreichische Post AG demands that any open issues be clarified as quickly as possible so that a decision can be taken.
As Österreichische Post AG intends to implement the rates subject to approval by the price control commission as well as the rates subject to notification duty at the same time, there will be no adjustments in the rates for letter mail items for the time being (the planned implementation date was 1 January 2003).

Österreichische Post AG regards the statement made by Federal Minister Mathias Reichhold indicating that he would “not in any case approve” a modification of postal rates in Austria as highly deplorable and not fully comprehensible. There is a misunderstanding already underlying Minister Reichhold’s use of the term “raise in postal rates”. The proposal submitted by Österreichische Post AG to the price control commission at the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology already during this summer does in no way provide only for increases, but also for a restructuring of the entire postal rates scale, which also entails rate reductions, based on the next liberalization step scheduled to be taken on 1 January 2003. A categorical and undifferentiated refusal puts Österreichische Post AG’s operational efficiency at risk in the medium term

Standard rate unchanged
The rate for standard letters remains unchanged at € 0.51 in any case. This rate is the most important one for postal service customers, as it applies to more than 75 % of the entire letter mail volume. The rates for info mail items remain unchanged, too.

In the area of above-standard weight items, rates will need to be raised because such items are, in many cases, not suited for machine processing and need to be sorted manually, which results in a considerable cost increase.

Comparison with Germany
The comparison with Germany, where Deutsche Post has reduced rates, does not apply, either. For even though Deutsche Post has reduced rates, most of its services are more expensive than the ones offered by Österreichische Post AG. The rate for a standard letter in Germany is €0.55, thus four Euro cents higher than in Austria.

Quality assurance
Österreichische Post AG must refute all attempts to relate the proposal for rate adjustment to the current problems experienced in the field of postal delivery as lacking objectivity. These problems are due to starting-up difficulties connected to the newly built Vienna Letter Center. Österreichische Post AG announced several times in advance that given the degree of technical innovation involved such problems would be unavoidable and that the company would do everything in its power to raise the level of postal delivery quality as quickly as possible. As our regular internal controls have shown, these initial problems have been more or less overcome in the meantime.
The investment in this state-of-the-art letter sorting center is a prerequisite for further quality improvements in postal services.

Österreichische Post AG deplores the fact that questions related to its long-term business development have now been turned into election campaign issues and hopes that the proposal for rate modifications, which was submitted weeks ago, will be verified according to objective criteria and be decided upon as quickly as possible.

For more information please contact:
Österreichische Post AG
Company communication
Press section/ PR
Michael Homola
Tel.: +43 (1) 515 51 - 32010
Vienna, 25 September 2002