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UPDATE 1-Online shoppers, cost cuts boost PostNL quarterly profit
August 5, 2013 / 6:49 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Online shoppers, cost cuts boost PostNL quarterly profit

(Adds breakdown, detailed outlook, CEO quote)

AMSTERDAM, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Dutch mail group PostNL beat forecasts with its second-quarter results thanks to cost savings and a 7 percent jump in parcel volumes as more customers shopped online, and said it was on track to meet its targets.

PostNL has cut jobs, reorganised its depots and raised tariffs with effect from Aug. 1 in response to a decline in its traditional mail business and a weak economy in the Netherlands.

Herna Verhagen, chief executive, said PostNL was on track to achieve its full-year forecast of underlying cash operating income between 50 million euros ($66.4 million) and 90 million euros, and to meet its 2015 targets, thanks to the parcels business and lower costs.

PostNL said that, because its reorganisation was ahead of schedule, it now expected to achieve cost savings of between 60 million and 80 million euros this year, above its previous forecast of between 40 million and 60 million euros.

But it said its traditional mail operations fared worse than expected in the second quarter, down 11 percent in the Netherlands, and warned the business would see a decline in 2013 of between 9 and 11 percent, slightly worse than its previous forecast for a decline of between 8 and 10 percent.

“We saw a higher-than-expected addressed volume decline because of the economic situation and competition,” Verhagen said in a statement.

”At the same time the reorganisation is tightly managed and ahead of schedule, resulting in higher cost savings.

Underlying second-quarter operating profit fell 15 percent to 72 million euros and revenue slipped 1.4 percent to 1.025 billion euros. Analysts in a poll for Reuters had on average expected an underlying operating profit of 64.3 million euros and revenue of 1.043 billion euros.

PostNL is targeting underlying cash operating income of between 300 and 370 million euros in 2015. ($1 = 0.7528 euros) (Reporting by Sara Webb; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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