Poste Italiane: Board of Directors approves results as of 31 march 2017
Rome, 10 May 2017 – The Board of Directors of Poste Italiane S.p.A. (“Poste Italiane”), chaired by Maria Bianca Farina, reviewed and approved today the Interim Financial Report as of 31 March 2017, drawn up in compliance with the measurement, recognition and classification criteria laid down by international accounting standards (IAS/IFRS).
Matteo Del Fante, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, commented on the results as follows:
“I am extremely proud to have been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Poste Italiane, a Group which I had the pleasure to appreciate during my previous professional experiences.
In the weeks since my appointment I have been working closely with the management team - to whom I extend my thanks – in order to ensure the continuity of the Company's managerial and operating processes.
Regarding the Q1 results, total revenues were substantially in line with the same period of last year, despite the sharp contraction in the insurance market as well as the inevitable decline in traditional mail. On the other hand, the parcels and logistics segments grew significantly compared to the same period of the previous year.
The next few months will be key to the preparation of the new strategic plan which will enable the Group to continue its pursuit of growth. In particular we will be focusing on broadening our product offering in insurance and asset management. With regards to financial services, we will concentrate on reinforcing payment systems, leveraging our client base and our recent acquisition of the SIA stake. We will also give further impetus to developing innovative services for the public administration. On the postal-logistics front, we will continue to strengthen our parcels business, driven by e-commerce and ongoing improvements on the quality of postal services.
All this will help strengthen the Group's cash generation in support of our 2017 dividend policy, which we will be finalising over the next few months and we expect to be reasonably similar to the last two years.”
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In addition to the standard financial indicators required by IFRS, Poste Italiane also utilises a number of alternative performance indicators, with a view to providing a clearer assessment of the business performance and financial position. The meaning and makeup of such indicators are described in the annex, in line with the ESMA/2015/1415 Guidelines of 5 October 2015.
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In the first quarter of 2017, the Group’s total revenues, inclusive of insurance premiums, fell -2.3% compared with the same period of the previous year, to € 9.5 billion. The Insurance Services and Asset Management segment, in a market that has seen a sharp contraction in insurance premiums, contributed € 7.1 billion of total revenues, with a slight decline of -2.1%. Financial Services also fell slightly, recording revenues of € 1.5 billion (-2.4%) and Postal and Business Services posted revenues of € 914 million (-2.4%), reflecting the structural decline in mail volumes in Italy (-9%). Revenues for the Express Delivery, Logistics and Parcels segment grew to € 174 million, up 11% compared with the same period of the previous year.
The operating profit, of € 526 million, decreased by -6.4% compared with the same period of the previous year (€ 562 million). The decrease was due to lower revenues from Postal and Business Services and Financial Services, only partially offset by the stronger result in Insurance Services and Asset Management.
The net profit is € 351 million, also showing a slight decline versus €367 million in the same period of the previous year. The Group net financial position shows a €4.3 billion surplus versus €6.2 billion at year-end 2016, mainly due to a €1,649 million decrease in the fair value of the financial instruments. The cash generated by operating activities was € 518 million and was used for the acquisition of a stake in FSIA Investimenti for € 222 million as well as for capital expenditure of € 81 million.
The net industrial financial position shows cash for € 103 million.
Capital expenditure for the period, before disposals, comes to € 81 million and is primarily related to the digitalisation of telecommunication networks and to property renovation and restructuring. During the first quarter of 2017, the client assets under management/administration rose to € 498 billion, up 1% from € 493 billion at year-end 2016. This was attributable mainly to growth in BancoPosta direct deposits to current accounts (+5 billion euros) and in the technical provisions of the Life insurance segment.
As regards the distribution networks, the process of modernisation and digitalisation of post offices continued in Q1 2017 with the roll-out of wi-fi connectivity in 3,585 post offices from the start of the project and the installation of a “new queue management” system already present in 2,078 offices. These initiatives continue to further improve the quality of customer services, including the opening of 26 multilingual offices across the nation to simplify access to the Group’s services for “new Italians".
Information on the main operating segments is reported below.
Total revenues, of €1.7 billion, showed a decline of -2% primarily attributable to the lower fees from postal savings and interest income on current account deposits, in line with market performance, only in part mitigated by the growth in revenues from active management of the securities portfolio held by Bancoposta, the positive contribution of Postepay cards and the placement fees for loan products.
The operating profit comes to €228 million, down -14.6% from the same period in the previous year (€ 267 million).
BancoPosta’s average deposits (including long-term repos) amount to € 54.5 billion, up 10% from € 49.6 billion at year-end 2016.
The number of Postepay Evolution cards – the personal rechargeable prepaid card with IBAN code – issued since the product was first launched (July 2014) has exceeded 3.9 million, with 409,317 cards issued in the first quarter of 2017.
Poste Italiane, through BancoPosta, has continued to strengthen its services for Italian households by expanding the range of consumer loans and mortgages, with different solutions in terms of length, amount and repayment flexibility.
INSURANCE SERVICES AND ASSET MANAGEMENT
Total revenues, inclusive of other income from insurance operations, come to € 7.1 billion, down -2.1% compared with the same period of the previous year (€ 7.2 billion), mainly due to the slight fall in insurance premiums, offset by the positive net inflows from mutual funds (fees +77% compared with the same period of the previous year). More specifically, Poste Vita, the leading Italian insurance provider with technical provisions amounting to € 115.3 billion (€ 113.5 billion at the end of December 2016) collected premiums for € 5.9 billion, posting a slight decline of -3.2% compared with Q1 2016, notwithstanding the fall of more than -24% in new production by the Italian insurance market in general in the same period.
Operating profit was € 155 million, up 43.5% compared with the same period of the previous year (€ 108 million), thanks to the increase in assets under management (mutual funds and technical provisions).
POSTAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES
Total revenues amount to € 2.2 billion (inclusive of € 1.3 billion in captive revenue, mainly due to distribution services), down -1.7% compared with the same period of 2016 (€ 2.3 billion). The fall in market revenues for mail services, while less steep than the previous year (-5.4%, versus -5.9% in the same period of 2016), is due to the structural decline in volumes of postal products (-9%).
The slowing in the decline in revenues, besides tariff effects and the growth in the parcels segment is also explained by the measures taken to improve the quality of traditional postal services and the efficiency of the related operating processes.
Parcels posted a 21% growth compared to the same period of 2016, for a total number of 28 million parcels handled in the first quarter of 2017, partly due to the developing growth of e-commerce in Italy.
Operating profit amounted to € 135 million (€ 177 million in the first quarter of 2016) explained - besides the aforementioned contraction of the market in traditional mail deliveries - by smaller intersegment revenues for distribution services provided to the financial segment and settled internally. The fact that total costs were substantially in line with the first quarter of 2016 was also thanks to the lower labour costs due to efficiency measures on the workforce.
RECENT EVENTS AND BUSINESS OUTLOOK
Key events during the period
Please be reminded that, following negotiations during the last quarter of 2016, on 8 February 2017 Poste Italiane signed an agreement to transfer to Invitalia - the national agency for the attraction of investment and business development - the entire equity package of Banca del Mezzogiorno-Medio Credito Centrale (BdM-MCC) for a total value of € 390 million. The operation is expected to close in 2017, subject to approval by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Bank of Italy and the European Central Bank. On 15 February 2017 - in execution of the preliminary agreement signed on 16 September 2016 between Poste Italiane and CDP for the transfer from FSI Investimenti SpA (controlled by CDP Equity SpA via a 77% stake) to Poste of an indirect shareholding in SIA SpA (amounting to 14.85%), business leader in e-payments, payments and online services - Poste completed the acquisition of a 30% stake in FSIA Investimenti Srl (holder of 49.5% of SIA), owned 100% by FSI Investimenti SpA. On completion of the deal, Poste paid 80% of the acquisition price – expected to come to 278 million euros. The final price might be adjusted, up or down, depending on the results obtained by SIA in its Net Financial Position at the end of 2016 and its operating performance for the full year 2017.
Main events subsequent to 31 March 2017
You are also reminded that the Poste Italiane S.p.A. Ordinary Shareholders' Meeting of 27 April 2017 in Rome, resolved, among other things:
On 28 April 2017 the Board of Directors appointed Matteo Del Fante to serve as Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of the Company.
Poste Group will be working throughout the rest of 2017 to produce a new Business Plan designed to permit further balanced growth for the business, as well as continuing to pursue the Country's path of innovation with particular attention to services for the Public Administration.
In the Logistics-Postal segment the Group will continue the restructuring process already begun in recent years through the use of new automation technologies to support the production process. Our goal will be to raise the efficiency and quality of postal services and improve our competitive positioning in the Express Delivery and Parcels market.
With regard to Financial Services, 2017 will be, among other things, focused on our positioning in transaction banking, with particular focus on growth in receipts and payments, partly through the recent acquisition of the stake in SIA SpA. Meanwhile the Group's efforts will be directed to the valorisation of the client base, through targeted products and services, a refocus on Postal Savings, where work will continue to define the conditions of the agreement governing the provision of intermediation services in favour of CDP SpA, growth in the distribution of consumer credit products and consolidation of “digital banking” business as part of Poste Italiane’s wider multichannel strategy. In addition, we will continue to actively manage our portfolio of financial instruments in light of the persisting volatility in international and national financial markets, with the aim of stabilising overall returns in terms of interest income and capital gains.
In addition, on 8 February 2017 a contract was signed between Poste Italiane and Invitalia for the transfer of the entire equity package of Banca del Mezzogiorno. The contract states that with its signing an interim period begins in which specific instructions apply as to how it is to be managed, with particular reference to the development of lending activity. The finalisation of the operation is subject to authorization by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Bank of Italy and the European Central Bank.
In the Insurance Segment, besides consolidating its leadership position in the Life market, the Group will work to extend the penetration of its Mutual Fund products and Class III policies, guaranteeing transparency and the maximum satisfaction of the needs of our clients. We will also continue to grow the protection and welfare segment, partly by strengthening the integrated social security, health and social care model, exploiting Poste Group's assets and social vocation.
The above objectives will all be pursued while reinforcing the Group's cash generation in support of a dividends policy, to be finalised over the next few months, which for FY 2017 we expect to be reasonably similar to that of the last two years.
Regarding the Parent's financial investments, the Company will continue to monitor, as foreseen by the prevailing contractual arrangements, the information made available by MidCo SpA - which controls 51% of Alitalia SAI, and placed in extraordinary administration on 2 May 2017 - in which on 23 December 2014 Poste Italiane subscribed Contingent Convertible Notes for an original value of 75 million euros with a 20-year duration. Over the next six months the airline's continuity will be assisted by a € 600 million bridge loan provided by the Italian state. Based on the information available at the date of this press release regarding the new developments and contractual terms of the notes, the credit granted to MIDCO SpA was valued consistently with the past, pending news which might reduce the uncertainties, at present unquantifiable, regarding its recoverability in accordance with original forecasts.
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Poste Italiane presents its quarterly financial report on a voluntary basis, with a summary picture of the business focusing on the key highlights in compliance with Consob Resolution no. 19770 of 26 October 2016 which gives listed companies whose Member State of origin is Italy, the faculty to voluntarily publish additional periodic financial information besides their annual and half-yearly reports. The document containing the Interim Financial Report as of 31 March 2017 will be published by 15 May 2017, made available to the public at the Company’s head office, on the Company's website (www.posteitaliane.it), on the website of the authorised storage system "eMarket Storage" (www.emarketstorage.com), and filed with Borsa Italiana S.p.A. (www.borsaitaliana.it), the Italian stock exchange management company. The disclosure regarding the filing will be issued in due course.
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A conference call will be held at 6 p.m. today, 10 May 2017, in order to present the results for the first quarter of 2017 to financial analysts and institutional investors. Journalists will be able to listen to the call. Supporting material will be made available in the “Investors” section of the website www.posteitaliane.it as the conference call begins.
Tables showing the results of the individual business units (before intersegment eliminations) are provided below, together with the period accounts (consolidated statement of financial position, consolidated statement of profit/loss for the period, consolidated statement of comprehensive income, consolidated statement of changes in equity and condensed consolidated statement of cash flows).
A brief description of the “alternative performance indicators” used is also provided.
The manager responsible for financial reporting, Luciano Loiodice, pursuant to art. 154 bis, paragraph 2 of the Consolidated Law on Finance, declares that the accounting information contained in this release is consistent with the underlying documents, accounting books and records.
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To see the press release in full version download pdf.
For further information contact:
Poste Italiane SpA – Press Office Pierpaolo Cito
Head of Press Office
Tel. +39 0659589008
Poste Italiane SpA – Investor Relations
Head of Investor Relations
Tel. +39 0659589421