Comments from Annemarie Gardshol, CEO
Slowing growth as societies open up
In the third quarter, like-for-like sales in all segments, and overall for the Group, increased by 5 percent. At the same time, operating income decreased to SEK 323 million (747) and adjusted operating income to SEK 284 million (520).
We can now see the effects of the pandemic beginning to loosen its grip on society. This is reflected in a slowing of growth in the parcels business, as restrictions begin to be relaxed, as well as in lower mail volumes due to a lessening of need for civic information mailings. Income for the quarter was also impacted by higher costs in the Swedish business. This was partly driven by the fact that it has not been possible for production costs for parcels to be readjusted in pace with the slowdown in growth. At the same time, we have accelerated development of our IT infrastructure and our service offering. Income has also been affected by start-up costs resulting from the major reorganization of our production in Oslo, aimed at creating scope for higher parcel volumes.
We expect the subdued growth in the parcel market to continue, bringing with it increased pressure on prices. Against that background, we are now stepping up our efforts to adapt costs to these conditions.
Delivery quality for mail remained high in the quarter, at 98.8 percent (95.7) in Sweden and 96.9 percent (93.7) in Denmark. Overall delivery quality for parcels in the Group was 96.1 percent (96.1).
Offering realigned with new habits and needs
As part of our strategy, we are continuously realigning our offering and service to meet new customer needs. During the quarter, the roll-out of parcel boxes under our own management in the Nordic region continued and we announced an expanded service in our home delivery offering and Saturday deliveries in the Swedish market.
The new delivery model in Sweden, where parcels are delivered as before and letters, newspapers and advertising have alternate day delivery, has now been introduced for half of all recipients. Thanks to very careful preparations in all parts of the organization, we can confirm high quality and few customer comments.
Working systematically for a more sustainable future
Our work in sustainability is progressing in a goal-focused way. During the quarter, we reduced carbon emissions compared to the third quarter of 2020 and the preceding quarter. Efforts to reduce oversized and unnecessary packaging continue. We are also continuing to invest in eco-friendly vehicles.
This report, presentation material and video are available on our Group website (https://www.postnord.com/investor-relations/financial-reporting/interim-reports/interim-report-january-september-2021).
Contact: Malin Nordén. This information is of such a nature that PostNord AB (publ) is obliged to make it public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted, through the agency of the contact stated above, for publication at 08.30 CET on October 28, 2021.