French national postal operator LaPoste said it will record a 700 millioneuros net profit in 2006, up by about25 percent on the figure of 557 millioneuros for 2005.
La Poste noted that its balancesheet would be hit by an exceptionalreform-linked contribution of 2 billioneuros to the national pension financingsystem at the end of this year. Internalinvestment this year on new hubs inLorraine and Val de Loire and themodernisation of the postal network(1,100 offices) reached 1.2 billion euros,up from 950 million euros in 2005.The group spent a further 550 millioneuros on acquisitions for its Europeanexpress network, an increased presencein publishing ventures by its Courriermail arm and Banque Postale’s moveto take over 100 percent of its assetmanagement activities.
For 2007, La Poste expects to increaseturnover by 3 percent, excludingexternal revenue growth, and toimprove its operating profit marginto 5.8 percent thanks to cost controlsand reform of its pension financing.Its mail revenues are budgeted to rise1 percent in spite of falling volumesand its parcels and express revenuesare expected to rise 7 percent, whilethe Banque Postale aims for 4 percentgrowth. La Poste will invest about 1.4billion euros next year, with 11 newhubs and sorting centres planned aswell as the renovation of a further 1000branches.