euro adhoc: Österreichische Post AG / quarterly or semiannual financial statement / Austrian Post: Successful First Quarter 2007 (E)

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11.05.2007

  • Positive revenue development: good performance in the Mail Division, slight decline in Branch Network Division, tripling of revenues in the Parcel & Logistics Division
  • Total Group revenues up 29.5% to EUR 575.5m
  • Successful integration of trans-o-flex
  • Acquisition of Scanpoint Europe and closing of the acquisition of Weber Escal
  • Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) up 12.5% to EUR 55.1m
  • Operating cash flow remains strong at EUR 77.9m
  • Outlook for 2007 unchanged
  • Further acquisitions in Q2

Austrian Post performed quite favourably in Q1 2007. Group revenue rose by 29.5%, to EUR 575.5m.
This improvement can be attributed to the initial consolidation of the German specialist logistics company trans-o-flex (Parcel & Logistics Division), acquired at the end of 2006, as well as to organic revenue growth. Revenues from the Mail Division rose by 1.8%, while the Parcel & Logistics Division improved by 222.4%. In contrast, the Branch Network Division posted a decline of 1.2%. Considered in terms of seasonal fluctuations, the first quarter of the year is generally a high revenue period, due to the high mail volumes attributed to business customers. This trend intensified in Q1 2007.

Revenue by
division EUR m Q1 Q1 Change Structur
2006 2007 Q1 2007
Total revenue 444.3 575.5 +29.5% 100.0%
Mail 335.8 341.8 +1.8% 59.4% Parcel&Logistics 56.7 182.9 +222.4% 31.8%
Branch Network 50.3 49.7 -1.2% 8.6% Other/Consolidation 1.4 1.2 -16.8% 0.2%

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) up 12.5%
EUR m Q1 Q1 Change
2006 2007
Revenue 444.3 575.5 +29.5%
EBITDA 69.4 77.4 +11.5%
EBIT 49.0 55.1 +12.5%
Profit after tax =
Profit for the period 37.0 42.7 +15.4%
Earnings per share (EUR) 0.53 0.61 +15.4%

In Q1 2007, the earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of Austrian Post climbed by 12.5%, to EUR 55.1m, in comparison to the preceding year. The EBIT margin amounted to 9.6%. All operating divisions made a positive contribution to earnings. EBIT at the Mail Division was EUR 74.4m, at the Parcel & Logistics Division EUR 9.7m, and at the Branch Network Division EUR 4.6m.

Earnings before tax rose 13.9%, to EUR 55.8m. The profit for the period improved by 15.4%, to EUR 42.7m.

Solid balance sheet structure - equity ratio of 44.0%
The balance sheet structure of Austrian Post reflects the positive business development of the company in recent years. The equity ratio amounted to 44.0% at March 31, 2007. In addition, the financial strength of Austrian Post further improved. Since the beginning of the year, financial assets as well as cash and cash equivalents increased by about EUR 50m, to EUR 487.6m.

Cash flow
In Q1 2007, operating cash flow before changes in working capital declined by 12.0%, to EUR 77.9m, compared to the same period of the previous year, despite the rising in earnings before tax. This decrease can be primarily attributed to higher tax payments in Q1 2007.

Including the changes in working capital, the cash flow from operating activities amounted to EUR 58.1m in Q1 2007 (Q1 2006: EUR 45.4m). The cash flow from investing activities totalled minus EUR 18.1m during the period under review. The net increase in cash and cash equivalents was EUR 40.0m.

Positive outlook for 2007 remains unchanged
Austrian Post continues to expect a stable mail market for the year 2007. Generally, increased competition is anticipated in the mail and above all in the parcels business, in particular in the business-to-consumer segment, due to the market entry of a new postal services provider.

All in all, Austrian Post continues to expect that organic revenue will remain constant in 2007. Additional growth will be driven by the German specialist logistics company trans-o-flex, which is being incorporated into the consolidated financial statements of Austrian Post for the first time in the 2007 business year. Accordingly, Austrian Post continues to predict that earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) will be 20%-25% higher in 2007 compared to 2006. The basis for this expected increase is the contribution of trans-o-flex, as well as a further improvement in operating income.

Events after the interim reporting period
With the formal closing of the transaction in April 2007, Austrian Post legally acquired a 75% shareholding in the Austrian specialist logistics company Scherübl Transport GmbH. Scherübl specialises in temperature-controlled transport and delivery for the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, on May 2, 2007, Austrian Post acquired a 100% shareholding in Road Parcel Kft., Hungary, and Merland Expressz Kft., Hungary. Both companies operate in the field of business-to-business parcel logistics in Hungary.

On May 10, 2007, Austrian Post signed an agreement in which it acquired the German direct marketing, production and service company meiller direct. In the last business year, meiller direct achieved revenues of about EUR 112m from the production of documents and mailings, employing a total of 1,180 people.

Further inquiry note:
Further inquiry note:
Austrian Post
Investor Relations:
Harald Hagenauer
Tel.: +43(1)515 51-30401
harald.hagenauer@post.at

Head of Public Relations:
Michael Homola
Tel.: +43(1)515 51-32010
michael.homola@post.at

end of announcement euro adhoc

emitter: Österreichische Post AG
Postgasse 8
A-1010 Wien
phone: (01) 515 51-0
WWW: www.post.at
sector: Transport
ISIN: AT0000APOST4
indexes: ATX
stockmarkets: stock market: Wiener Börse AG
language: English

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