In Q3 2022, postal traffic drops by 3.2%, revenues increased by 4.0%, and the average revenue per item increased by 7.4%
In the 3rd quarter of 2022 (3Q2022) postal traffic decreased by 3.2% compared to the 3rd quarter of 2021 (3Q2021), reaching 133 million items. The recent dynamics have been influenced by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which generated a significant downturn in traffic. In Q3 2022, the pandemic is estimated to have caused a decrease by -7.5% in traffic, a less severe impact than in Q3 2021 (in which a traffic decrease of 8.9% was estimated to have occurred due to COVID-19).
Revenues generated by legally qualified providers of postal services amounted to around EUR 172.6 million, up by 4.0% from 3Q2021. This growth was mainly due to the evolution of letter mail and parcel revenues, which increased by 4.6% and 3.1%, respectively. Revenues from editorial mail (+1.3%) and direct mail (13.2%) also increased.
The average revenue per item increased by 7.4% when compared to the same quarter last year, as has been the case since 2018. This quarter, the increase resulted from the growth in the unit revenue of letter mail (+11.2%), influenced, among other factors, by price increases applied by CTT on 7 March 2022.
Postal traffic seems to be picking up after pandemic
Although the effects of the pandemic on postal traffic could still be felt in 3Q2022, the gradual lifting of movement restrictions throughout 2021 seems to have led postal traffic to begin picking up from the shock caused by the pandemic, registering a lower decrease than during the period when the referred movement restrictions were in place.
Parcels increased by 7.0%
According to the type of item, letter mail and editorial mail traffic fell by 6.0% and 4.9% respectively, while direct mail and parcel traffic increased by 15.5% and 7.0% respectively.
In 3Q2022, letter mail accounted for 73.0% of postal traffic, while editorial mail and direct mail accounted for 7.3% and 6.8% respectively. The weight of parcels in total traffic stood at 12.9%, 1.2 percentage points (p.p.) more than in 3Q2021. In terms of revenues, the relative weight of parcels was 42.6%, 0.4 p.p. less than in the same quarter last year.
Incoming international traffic was up 1.7% on the same quarter last year.
Universal service accounted for 80.3% of traffic and 48.7% of revenues
Postal services within the scope of the universal service (US) represented around 80.3% of traffic and 48.7% of revenues.
US traffic fell by 5.5%, while its weight in total traffic decreased by 1.9 p.p. compared to 3Q2021. US revenues increased by 0.3% and their weight as a whole decreased by 1.8 p.p.
The CTT group held a share by around 85.2% of postal traffic, up 0.7 p.p. from 3Q2021. As regards traffic within the US scope, the CTT group held a share by around 90.4%, up 1.5 p.p. from the same quarter last year. On the other hand, the CTT group’s share of parcels reached 48.0% (-1.5 p.p. than in the corresponding quarter last year).
The number of employees fell by 1.6%
In 3Q2022, about 14.9 thousand workers were employed in the operation of postal services, 1.6% less than in 3Q2021. This decrease was mainly due to the trend in the number of employees of the CTT group (-3.0%). The proportion of employees of the CTT group reached 72.1% of the total at the end of the period (-1.1 p.p. than in the same quarter last year). In the opposite direction, the number of employees of alternative service providers increased by 2.3%.
More access points and fewer distribution centres
There was a rise in the number of access points (+6.8%), while the number of distribution centres fell (-5.9%).
The number of CTT post offices increased by 0.2%, compared to the same quarter last year, thereby maintaining the growth trend that began in 2019, while the number of post offices also increased by 0.2%1.
1 The number of CTT post stations and post offices for the end of the Q32022 is provisional.