Brussels, 19 December 2013 – The overall postal industry revenue reached €422.6bn in 2012, up from €415.9bn in 2010. Mail revenue fell by €1.59bn while combined revenue from parcels and express, financial services and logistics and freight increased by €8.4bn. Revenue growth was strongest in BRICS and Asia Pacific while average revenue declined in Europe and North America. These are some of the insights published today in International Post Corporation (IPC)’s new publicly available executive summary of the IPC Global Postal Industry Report. Herbert-Michael Zapf, President and CEO, IPC said: “Despite falling mail volumes, global postal operators have experienced overall revenue growth. This is a result of rapid growth in domestic and international e-Commerce, but also of increased diversification and process optimisation.”
Corporate performance has been strongly influenced by economic conditions across the respective regions and the degree of internet penetration but also by the degree of diversification of postal operators. While organic growth was responsible for much of the growth in revenue, merger and acquisition activity also played an important role: 43 acquisitions were completed in 2012, up from 33 in 2011.
While Europe’s share of overall postal revenue remained stable, the North American share declined and BRICS’s share increased.
The degree of revenue diversification has continued to increase for the industry as a whole as posts have been actively pursuing growth opportunities in other key business areas, notably parcels and express, postal financial services and logistics and freight. Diversification increased significantly between 2010 and 2012, with the share of mail revenue share falling to 47.1%. Parcels and express, logistics and freight and postal financial services now account for 45.1%, representing an increase by 4.7% since 2010.
Declining mail volumes countered by growth in other segments
On aggregate, mail revenue declined at the industry level. Nevertheless, many posts saw growth in this segment in 2012, particularly those operating in BRICS and Asia Pacific. The average operator grew mail revenue by 1.7%, helped in many cases by increased consumer letter rates as posts extracted more value from key mail products. Unaddressed admail volumes remain stable and continue to grow in certain markets, in contrast to priority and non-priority letters and addressed admail.
The average operator saw mail volumes fall by 4.3% and parcel and express volumes increase by 1.7%, despite a relatively low overall economic growth rate. While greater internet penetration has increased the rate of e-substitution of letter mail through, for example, the digitisation of consumer invoices, it has also had a positive effect on the shipment of physical goods stemming from e-Commerce transactions. In addition, a strong correlation remains between the economy and mail and parcel volumes.
Average parcel and express revenue growth in 2012 was 6.4% compared to 5.2% in 2010, mainly due to boom in online retail e-Commerce.
Zapf concludes: “Covering 39 postal operators worldwide as well as the major integrators, the new report provides a review of corporate performance and letter mail and parcel volumes and covers important trends such as digitisation, sustainability, acquisitions and divestments, employee profile and business diversification.”