TNT turns in operating profit

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TNT Express, which had its merger with UPS rejected by the European Commission, produced an operating profit of €89m last year after a loss of €105m in 2011.

Nevertheless, the group produced a net loss of €81m for the year.

In a letter to stakeholders, interim chief executive Bernard Bot described the commission’s decision as disappointing but the “decision did not unbalance us. We have a resilient market position, which we continued to expand in 2012.”

However, Bot admitted that the group’s financial performance did not meet expectations.

“Difficult macroeconomic conditions in Europe, coupled with continued pressure on yield, as a result of continuing price pressure and the switch to lower-priced economy products, had a negative impact. These effects were only partially mitigated by cost reductions,” he said.

“And while the losses in our Brazilian operations were reduced, we did not realise the level of improvements we had aimed for. Our Asia Pacific segment showed very good progress and generated a positive return on an adjusted basis, despite lower Asia-Europe demand.”

Looking ahead, Bot said the clear challenge was to improve TNT’s financial performance. It is currently looking at opportunities to divest its domestic activities in Brazil and China. in addition, it expects to present a detailed improvement plan on 25 March.

For 2013 it expects challenging trading conditions with related continued negative development of operating results in Europe & MEA. However, Asia Pacific and Other Americas expected to perform in line with prior year.

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