March 12, 2020 / 7:04 AM / 17 days ago

Austrian Post 2019 operating profit down 5%

FILE PHOTO: A self-driving mail truck is seen during its presentation at the Austrian Post logistics centre in Vienna, Austria March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian Post’s (POST.VI) reported a 5% fall in last year’s operating profit due to provisions for a data privacy fine and said it would propose a stable dividend of 2.08 euros per share.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) at the majority state-owned group came in at 200.6 million euros after 210.9 million euros the previous year. Austria’s data protection authority imposed a fine of 18 million euros on Austrian Post last year for illegally using marketing data.

The group said it would start its new financial services business bank99 in April and expects start-up costs of at least 40 million euros this year and the next. Positive earnings contributions from these services are seen from 2023.

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Riham Alkouusaa

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