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France’s Le Groupe La Poste has reported that its operating revenue for the first half of 2019 was up 4.5% on last year at €12,795 million, but operating profit was down by a third at €572 million.

In a statement issued today (31 July), the company said: “Our financial profits have been impacted by the continued fall in mail volumes and persistently low interest rates.

“At the same time, over the half year the Group has taken major steps forward in its strategic plan, with the creation of the large public financial unit, the consolidation of Asendia and a majority stake1 acquired in BRT, the leading Italian express parcel operator, announced today.

“The Group is also pursuing its investment programme to promote diversification and the development of all its business lines.”

Revenue for the Services-Mail-Parcels business unit totalled €6,122 million, up  €351 million or +6.1% (-1.3% at constant scope and exchange rates).

The company added: “Operating profit for the Services-Mail-Parcels business unit decreased by 24.0% to  €289 million (down 26.2% at constant scope and exchange rates), due to the fall in traditional mail, which was not offset by the Parcels operating profit nor by the positive contribution of new activities and acquisitions.”

Revenue for the GeoPost10 business unit increased by €252 million to €3,730 million. However, GeoPost’s operating profit was down 7.5% to €193 million. According to the Le Groupe La Poste: “This change is primarily due to a European backdrop characterised by Brexit and pressures on subcontracting costs in certain countries.”

Looking to the future, the French postal group expects to moderate growth and targeted savings: “Against the backdrop of a difficult macroeconomic environment, Le Groupe La Poste expects moderate organic growth of its revenue over the year. In the second half of 2019 and in 2020 it will seek to shore up its economic and financial results and maintain its investment capacity by rolling out a cross-entity Group savings programme for  €300 million that will primarily target head office and Structures costs. It will also target reinforced investment prioritising (with -€100 million impact).”