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Swiss Post delivers another proud profit

Swiss Post has made a profit for the eighth time in a row Keystone

The Swiss Post Office said on Friday that it made a profit of SFr811 million ($616 million) in 2005.

This content was published on March 24, 2006 - 14:07

The state-owned company, which is affectionately called the "yellow giant", also reported that it was ready for the partial liberalisation of its letter delivery service from next month.

"Swiss Post has again worked well during 2005," said Swiss Post head Ulrich Gygi. "We made a profit for the eighth time in a row.

"The SFr811-million figure is only just under the record result of SFr830 million from 2004."

Swiss Post said that there had been good results across all sectors. Turnover increased by two per cent to SFr7.499 billion.

However, the number of letters sent within Switzerland fell by 1.3 per cent and those abroad by 5.4 per cent.

Solid

Swiss Post said that it had built up solid foundations to be able to deal with an increasingly open market.

The company, which currently holds a monopoly on all letters delivered in the country, will face competition for the delivery of letters over 100 grams from April 1 this year.

The Swiss cabinet approved the move last year as part of steps towards privatising the company and opening the postal market to other licensed competitors.

Swiss Post said that the move would reduce its income, but that its remaining monopoly would help to counter the effects of the change.

It added that opening up the market further could put its universal service in jeopardy and called on politicians to take this into consideration.

Reactions

Reacting to Friday's announcement, Transfair, the public service union, said that despite the good results, Swiss Post had cut 7.4 per cent of jobs in the same period.

It called on the company not to slash any more positions and not to let working conditions deteriorate.

The union Communication said the figures showed that public service companies could make a profit and suggested that part of it could be used to shore up the ailing national pension fund, which would help out the government.

The union added that funds could also be used to counter the negative effects of Swiss Post's ongoing restructuring.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

Swiss Post was established on January 1, 1849 and from the beginning the federal institution was responsible for transporting passengers, letters, parcels and money.

Back then, the railway had barely established itself in Switzerland and the introduction of telegraphy was to take place only a few years later.

Swiss Post has dramatically changed over the years. Today it is a company owned by the Swiss Confederation. It continues to provide a nationwide public service but also engages in competitive business.

Politics continues to exert a substantial influence on the company. The government sets strategic goals for Swiss Post and monitors them every year.

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Key facts

In 2005, Swiss Post handled 2.8 billion letters and more than 100 million parcels.
Survey figures released earlier this month showed that 97.7% of A Post (priority) letters and 98.2% of B Post letters were delivered on time.
The Swiss postal bus service is this year celebrating its 100th anniversary. The first service, which ran from Bern to the nearby village of Detligen, is still in operation.

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