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Poste Italiane is distinctive in Italy in terms of its size, recognition, capillarity and customer trust, forming an integral part of the economic, social and productive fabric of the country. Its role in relation to the nation makes the Group responsible for the well-being of the communities in which it operates, in the belief that in such a critical period of Italian history, its contribution can represent a valuable tool at the service of citizens and institutions. The Covid-19 pandemic inevitably created a new reality, not only in Italy but throughout the world, requiring significant effort by all economic operators to identify solutions that could safeguard people’s health, whilst at the same time, ensuring their business continuity. Consistently with government directives relating to containing the virus and social distancing, Poste Italiane strengthened its commitment to the country with a number of initiatives, which were made possible thanks to the involvement of the entire organisation.

Specifically, the Group adopted procedures for providing its services based on the changing epidemiological situation and consequent amendments to the national regulatory context. The Company worked to deliver pensions in advance, and guarantee service continuity by keeping at least one Post Office open in every small Municipality. In order to safeguard the health of its employees and customers, Poste Italiane provided a billion and a half items of personal protective equipment from the start of the health emergency, distributed 200 thousand anti-Covid tests and adopted flexible working (smart working) for a maximum of 85% of the company workforce. Where smart working was incompatible with the services required, such as post and logistics, the Group provided all personnel with the necessary tools and equipment (e.g. PPE, plexiglass panels, etc.) to conduct their activities in complete safety. As from 4 October 2021, Poste Italiane adopted a “hybrid” working model, promoting both a digital and physical working environment, and managing a return to in-office working for a minimum of 2 days a week. The Company also supported the immunisation campaign, allowing citizens to book for their vaccinations using different channels, including the dedicated portal, call centre, or via ATMs in the regions subscribing to the initiative. The Group also showed its commitment by transporting the vaccines, making available the SDA express courier and ensuring the correct conditions for the serum to be preserved.

The many actions undertaken by the Group are consistent with the values underlying the Group’ sustainability strategy, based on eight Pillars, and in line with the recommendations of the Global Compact Network Italy, the UN PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) guidelines and the additional indications in relation to the impact of the Covid-19 emergency on SDGs55 provided by the United Nations.

Financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic

According to ESMA recommendations issued in 202157, following are the main effects on the Group due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With reference to the business, trends stabilised that over the last financial year had increased due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic (e.g. development of digital payments and e-commerce). In 2021, these trends stabilised at a “new normal” growth level. On an economic level, the Group recorded solid performance throughout 2021, with significant growth of the economic results both compared to 2020 and to pre-pandemic levels. The Group’s financial solidity and liquidity have allowed financing investments that reached € 754 million over the year and guaranteed the 2021 advance dividend. As regards developments in the current year, the reference context is still characterised by some degree of uncertainty. Even given the improvement in the economic picture which is partly due to the diffusion of vaccines, the Group constantly monitors the evolution of the reference scenario to promptly assess the potential effects on operations and adjust behaviour and lines of action. The resilience of its businesses, high financial integrity and capital strength, and substantial reputational capital ensure business continuity.