The TNT group saw operating profit (EBIT) fall 34 per cent to 648m euros for 2009. Sales were down 6.7 per cent to 10.4bn euros “mainly as a result of the various one-offs and impairments”.
In the fourth quarter, the Express business saw a further recovery in volumes and a decline in costs as a result of cost optimisation initiatives, which resulted in improving underlying results. However, the group said pricing pressure remained strong. In 2009, Express reached savings of € 428 million. For the full year, the underlying operating income was € 282 million versus € 446 million in 2008.
Mail revenues were in line with the previous year, with the decline in revenue from the Netherlands almost being matched by good growth from Emerging Mail & Parcels.
When excluding the one-offs, the impairments and the currency impact, TNT’s underlying sales fell over the prior year by 5.3 per cent and EBIT decreased by 21.5 per cent.
TNT said it was still uncertain how the global economy would develop over the year and the focus on costs and cash would continue to be key.
In Express, TNT expects single-digit volume growth with some limited recovery of weight per consignment, supported by lower costs per kilo and consignment.
“Most growth is expected from international, especially Economy Express. Express revenues and results are therefore expected to be above 2009 levels. However, the extent of possible pressure because of price/mix, wage increases and cost inflation, will influence the magnitude of the improvement.
“In Mail, TNT expects a volume decline in the Netherlands of seven to nine per cent, owing to the first full year effect of liberalisation combined with normal substitution.”