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16.09.2014 – 09:08

Österreichische Post AG


  ad-hoc disclosure transmitted by euro adhoc with the aim of a Europe-wide
  distribution. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this

Austrian Post is aligning its product and pricing structure to reflect current
market conditions. An inflation-related price increase for mail will take place
as of March 1, 2015, following the last product and price reform in 2011. The
adjustment in postal rates was approved by the relevant regulatory authorities -
the Post Control Commission (PCK) and the Austrian Regulatory Authority for
Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR) - on September 15, 2014. In addition,
Austrian Post is making changes to its service portfolio to facilitate customer
access, for example the delivery of direct mail or other shipping and handling
options for mail items. This will significantly facilitate the processing of
postal business, especially with respect to advertising mail for SMEs. 

The introduction of a new postal rate structure is also designed to ensure the
medium-term balance between the structural decrease in the mail business and the
steady increase in staff costs. The objective is to safeguard the long-term
rendering of nationwide postal services and maintain their top quality, also in
European comparison. "This inflation adjustment secures the sustainable
development and innovative strength of Austrian Post in spite of rising costs
and declining letter mail volumes. The ongoing expansion of modern services and
our product and service offering can also be seen in the persistent
modernisation of the branch network. 250 branch offices were completely
redesigned in just three years in order to further improve service quality at
the customer interface. Moreover, with close to 1,900 postal service points, the
availability of postal services was considerably expanded in recent years. In
future, we also want to maintain and further upgrade our logistics
infrastructure and service quality for the benefit of the Austrian economy",
emphasises Georg Pölzl, Chief Executive Officer of Austrian Post. The new
inflation-based pricing structure has a mid-table international ranking but, at
the same time, offers superior service quality, especially with respect to the
quality of delivery and the nationwide availability of postal service points.
This has been continually confirmed by international studies. 
Rate for standard letters raised from 62 to 68 cents, large letters from EUR
3.80 to 4.00  
The price of standard domestic letters in the "Premium" category (delivery on
the next working day) will be raised from 62 to 68 cents. The "Economy" option
for letters sent by business customers (longer delivery time, minimum of 1,000
items) will now cost 62 cents per letter in line with the new postal rate
structure instead of 57 cents. The pricing adjustments are in a comparable range
for other formats, i.e. Standard Plus, Maxi and Maxi Plus. For the "Large
Letter" format extensively used in the field of e-commerce, postage rates will
rise slightly from EUR 3.80 to EUR 4.00 per mail item in order to enable
Austrian Post to continue offering an attractive letter mail product for the
fast-growing online shopping market. This change in postal rates, the first
since the year 2011, is aligned to the inflation rate since that time, in spite
of the fact that factor costs relevant to the postal business such as staff
costs or tolls have climbed more sharply in the same period. The Consumer Price
Index (CPI) has climbed by 10% since the last tariff application was submitted.
On average, the rise in postal rates carried out by Austrian Post will lead to
additional costs of close to one euro each year for every Austrian citizen
(average postage expenses per person in Austria for sending letters equals EUR
12 per year). Slight adjustments will also be made in rates for sending parcels
effective January 1, 2015. For example, the cost of sending a domestic parcel
weighing up to 2 kg will rise from EUR 4.47 to EUR 4.60. 

Customer-oriented further development of postal services   
"High quality and the state-of-the-art development of the service portfolio
reflect the needs of customers and ensure the high attractiveness of postal
services. We are fighting for every letter through broad-based sales
initiatives, product innovations and the steady increase in availability of the
postal network. In future, we will prioritise our investments designed to
enhance customer convenience. For example, one of our goals is to increase the
number of Post Pick-up Boxes to 10,000 units," CEO Pölzl adds. These extensive
investments will continue in future in order to maintain the high level of
services. This is only possible on a medium to long term basis if
inflation-related factor cost rises are taken into account in the pricing
policy. For this reason, it is a matter of concern to Austrian Post to have
general rules put in place - as is the case in other countries - designed to
ensure that postal rates continually keep pace with inflation in the future. In
turn, this also increases planning reliability for customers. At the same time,
the further, up-to-date development of universal postal services must also take
place, with the aim of aligning Austrian Post's products to the real needs of
customers, as well as to ensure an improved cost-benefit ratio. 

Long-term stable economic development 
On balance, Austrian Post is striving to achieve a stable to slightly positive
revenue development in the Group in the medium to long term. The good
development of the company in recent years should be continued, and
profitability maintained. With the above-mentioned inflation adjustments,
Austrian Post strives to generate an EBITDA margin of around 12%. This also
provides the basis for continuing investments in new customer solutions in spite
of rising factor costs, and to move ahead with modernising operations. In this
regard, Austrian Post plans further investments and efficiency increases. For
example, Austrian Post aims to promote models enabling civil servants working
for the company to transfer to the federal public service. This bundle of
measures should sustainably secure the profitability and innovative strength of
the company.

Further inquiry note:
Austrian Post
Harald Hagenauer
Head of Investor Relations, Group Auditing & Compliance 
Tel.: +43 (0) 57767-30400

Ingeborg Gratzer
Head of Press & Internal Communications
Tel.: +43 (0) 57767-24730

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 

issuer:      Österreichische Post AG
             Haidingergasse  1
             A-1030 Wien
phone:       +43 (0)57767-0
sector:      Transport
ISIN:        AT0000APOST4
indexes:     ATX Prime, ATX
stockmarkets: official market: Wien 
language:   English

Original content of: Österreichische Post AG, transmitted by news aktuell