August 5, 2019 / 6:46 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Dutch PostNL posts Q2 beat, confirms outlook

(Adds CEO quotes, details throughout)

Aug 5 (Reuters) - PostNL stuck with its guidance for 2019 as it reported a 24% increase in its second-quarter underlying cash operating income (UCOI) on Monday and agreed to sell its Postcon business.

The Netherlands’ largest mail carrier said it still expects its full-year UCOI to come to 170-200 million euros and also set an interim dividend for 2019 of 0.08 euro per share.

PostNL reported second-quarter UCOI of 41 million euros ($45.6 million) above analysts’ expectations, helped by lower outflows for pensions and provisions.

“The sale of Postcon marks another step in our strategy of focusing on our core markets in the Netherlands and Belgium, and supporting the transformation of PostNL into an e-commerce logistics service provider,” chief executive Herna Verhagen said in a statement.

The company, which generated 51% of all revenue in the first half from e-commerce, said it had agreed to sell Postcon business in Germany to Quantum Capital Partners by the end of the year, with no further details disclosed.

PostNL has struggled to keep its declining mail business profitable while fulfilling its obligation to deliver to all parts of the country, and has frequently clashed with regulators over obligations to carry competitors’ mail on its network.

In February, the carrier announced plans to buy its main rival Sandd in a bid to combine the two largest mail companies in the country.

It is now awaiting the Authority for Consumers & Markets’ (ACM) final decision on the consolidation, Verhagen said.

$1 = 0.8990 euros Reporting by Pawel Goraj, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Tomasz Janowski ;

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