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Denmark's PostNord close to making profit after lean years

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Denmark's PostNord close to making profit after lean years
Photo: Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix
17:14 CEST+02:00
The Danish arm of postal service provider PostNord is still not profitable, but came close to breaking even after a stronger start to 2019.

The company, which is jointly Danish and Swedish-owned, was in the black at the end of 2018 but finds itself back in debt after the first half of 2019, results published on Wednesday showed.

But losses are far smaller than the 750 million kroner seen during the corresponding period in 2018.

PostNord lost 81 million kroner in the first six months of this year.

The company's Danish arm, PostNord Danmark, is still finding it difficult to turn a profit, but has reduced its losses compared to last year.

Operational losses of 750 million kroner were posted in the first half of 2018, compared to 7 million kroner in the same period this year.

PostNord Denmark has lost a little over 50 million kroner overall so far in 2019, once taxes, interest and other costs are taken into account.

“We are almost where we need to be and are relatively far ahead with our plans,” PostNord Denmark CEO Peter Kjær Jensen said.

“We made money in two of the first six months of the year. That's the bad part of the year. The good months are from August and September onwards,” he said.

The company was formed in 2009 following partial privatization of the national postal service and a merger with its Swedish counterpart through the 1990s and 2000s. It has since struggled, in part due to the dwindling numbers of letters that are now sent. The second quarter of 2019 saw an eight percent decrease in letter deliveries.

“We are now focusing on online shopping. It is packages and online shopping that will move the business forward,” Jensen said.

The company has been forced to let thousands of employees go while cutting deliveries, raising prices and closing virtually all of Denmark's post offices over the last decade, replacing them with counters in supermarkets and convenience stores.

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