Release Date:
Release ID: 4551

TNT - Trading conditions in Q4 2009 improving

Amsterdam, 22 February 2010

Q4 2009
- Reported operating income € 128 million (€ 160 million in Q4 2008), including one-off charges (mainly non cash) of € 191 million
- Underlying* operating income at € 322 million improves for the first time since Q2 2008, year-on-year
- Net cash from operating activities strong at € 352 million

- Sequential improvement in Express volume development with first year-on-year volume increase
- Cost savings € 60 million
- Underlying* operating income up 20.5% to € 106 million (€ 88 million in Q4 2008)
- Underlying* operating margin above 2008 levels for the first time in 2009 (Q4 2009 6.3% vs Q4 2008 5.3%) and highest of 2009

- Addressed mail volume decline in the Netherlands 5.9% in line with trend
- Master plan savings of € 33 million in the quarter
- € 146 million impairments and other value adjustments in EMN following strategic review
- Underlying* operating income down 1.3% to € 229 million (€ 232 million in Q4 2008)

- Sequential improvement in Express volume development started in Q3 2009
- Mail volume decline in line with expectations at -4.7%
- Cost savings € 527 million
- Reported operating income € 648 million (€ 982 million in FY 2008), including one-off charges (mainly non cash) of € 222 million
- Underlying* operating income € 896 million (2008: € 1,141 million)
- Net cash from operating activities at € 1,016 million
- Net debt reduced by € 638 million to € 1,106 million
- Announcement Vision 2015 strategy

- Total proposed distribution to shareholders of € 0.53 per share, pay-out ratio of ~40% of normalised net income
€ 0.18 already paid by way of interim dividend, optional in cash or shares
€ 0.35 as final dividend, optional in cash or shares

TNT sees early signs of a somewhat improving trend in the economy, but remains cautious on a continuation of the economic recovery. Express volumes, revenues and results are expected to be above 2009 levels. Mail volumes and results are expected to be below 2009 levels. A continuous focus on cost and cash remains essential.

CEO Peter Bakker comments: ‘Operating results in Q4 2009 were relatively solid in a trading environment that continued to improve, leading for the first time since Q2 of 2008 to a higher group operating income than the same quarter last year. However, this trading environment is still clearly below 2006 economic activity levels. TNT saw positive development in core Express volumes and Parcels, as well as a robust performance in Mail Netherlands. For the full year, significant cost savings and a strong focus on cash have made us come out of the severe economic crisis as a financially and operationally stronger company.

In the fourth quarter and the first weeks of 2010 TNT took concrete steps towards implementing the Vision 2015 strategy by, amongst others: exiting the first of a number of the European Mail Networks and simultaneously entering into a German partnership. We are also pushing forward in implementing the five focus areas as announced on the 3 December Analysts’ Meeting: Parcels, Freight, Emerging Platforms, Special Delivery Solutions and Mail NL.

Mail succeeded in achieving an in-principle CLA with the unions in early 2010, which will be presented to the union members with a positive advice. The agreement is balanced and will give a sufficient basis for the required downsizing and efficiency improvements in Mail related to volume decline and realisation of our Master plans.

TNT is also pleased to announce today that we aim to improve our CO2 efficiency by 45% by 2020. With this ambitious objective, TNT substantiates its global Planet Me programme and underscores its commitment to minimise its impact on the environment.

We remain confident of our strategic positioning to capitalise on an economic rebound and eventual recovery. The first weeks of 2010 make me somewhat optimistic on improving economic conditions, however, we will continue to manage our group from cautious assumptions, leading to continued strong focus on cash and cost.’

* The underlying figures over 2009 are at constant currency and exclude the impact of restructuring and impairment charges in Express (Q4: € 21 million; FY: € 63 million) and Mail (Q4: € 170 million; FY: € 159 million). The underlying figures over 2008 exclude the impact of restructuring and impairment charges (Express € 70 million and Mail Q1: € 7 million; Q4: € 82 million).
59 Piccadilly Manchester M1 2AQ
Telephone: +44 (0)161 408 0542
Fax: +44 (0)870 432 1732

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