Posten Norden, which runs postal services in Sweden and Denmark, reported a net loss of 696 million kronor ($96 million) for the fourth quarter 2009, in comparison with a profit of 794 million in the corresponding period of 2008.
The firm on Wednesday announced a new austerity programme “to meet the uncertain market situation and other factors that affect our operations.”
“It will mean fewer employees. And it is too early to say anything about that. But we cut almost 4,000 during 2009, across the two countries. It will not be as many during 2010, but perhaps we can say 2,000,” the firm’s CEO, Lars G Nordström told the TT news agency on Wednesday.
Some of the redundancies will be accounted for by attrition and by shifting full-time staff to part-time.
“In certain places compensation packages will be offered to encourage staff to go,” Nordström confirmed.
Nordström assured customers that service levels will remain the same and that the redundancies are a reaction to declining volumes.
The firm reported a turnover of 11.6 billion kronor, down from 12.1 billion kronor the year before.
The full year result was boosted by capital gains of 2 billion kronor from the sale of a stake in the Belgian post office. Profits before tax amounted to 2.4 billion kronor, in comparison to 3.6 billion for the full year 2008.
The board proposed a dividend, to the Swedish and Danish states, of 1.44 billion kronor.
Posten Norden was formed last year following the fusion of Swedish Posten and Danish Post Danmark. The comparative figures for 2008 are adjusted accordingly.
The firm has accounted for around 1 billion kronor in restructuring costs for the savings programme in its figures for the fourth quarter. The money is earmarked to fund restructuring, rationalization and modernization within all of the firm’s business areas and service networks.