For several years, La Poste has been faced with the attrition of its core business, mail delivery. In 2020, the volume of folds even fell by 18%. To face it, the public company has bet on the package, in France and internationally. With undeniable success: the turnover of this activity climbed by 20.1% last year in France. But the group, which also has an important financial center with La Banque Postale, also wanted to diversify into local services. Its offer is now very wide, and ranges from monitoring the elderly to recycling office waste and renting bicycles, including the collection and transfer of documents for the benefit of companies and administrations. Some services are operated by letter carriers, which makes better use of this network.
La Poste will slow down mail delivery
In a report published Thursday, the Court of Auditors draws up a mixed assessment of this diversification, noting that
"business results are mixed, but overall below expectations"
Some services are successful, such as organizing driving license exams.
“Watching over my parents”, on the other hand, has
“inconclusive financial results”
Others must see their potential confirmed, such as carrying meals or renting bikes.
“In total, the turnover of new local services increased, but below the expected market picture (516 million euros of consolidated turnover in 2020 for a target of 688 million).
And, if the net income of subsidiaries has been positive since the first half of 2020, profitability remains marginal, ”
writes the Court.
These activities remain marginal in a group whose turnover reached 31 billion euros last year.
The Court also warns that this diversification strategy is based more and more on the acquisition of companies:
“These merger and acquisition operations involve risks, in particular that of outbidding prices and sums invested when targets are rare. ”