The listing is the beginning of its new life. Not only postal services, logistics, e-commerce, but also the savings management of Italian families. So it goes beyond the international business model
La quotazione in borsa segna una nuova vita. Non solo recapiti, logistica, e-commerce, incasso e pagamento, ma anche gestione di una gran fetta del risparmio delle famiglie. Andando oltre il modello internazionale
The Post Office’s bank balance is comfortably in the black and the Post Office itself is listed on the stock exchange. Just fifteen years ago this would have seemed unthinkable. This public company, which has for decades been the symbol of trusty, convenient snail mail, has broken down barriers to become an international standard-bearer for efficiency and innovation and a European – and, some would say, a world – leader.
This is the happy result of a strategic plan introduced in 1998 by the then Minister of the Treasury, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. Under the guidance of the Post Office’s CEO, Francesco Caio, the plan was followed faithfully all these years, finally achieving the great victory of being listed on the stock market. This development affirms the company’s continued focus on the private sector even under public control, and its dedication to managing significant proportions of families’ savings, through its popular postal vouchers and through its other banking and insurance products, all of which have been instrumental to the Post Office’s great turnaround.
«This is proof that things can be done well in Italy», said Caio on 27 October last year, the day that the Post Office was floated. «I have the great satisfaction of having led an enthusiastic, hardworking team. This is a historic moment for the group – and, I hope, for the country too».
He is no doubt right, given that even with just 38% of the Post Office’s share capital listed, the State Treasury drew in the magnificent figure of €3.4 billion, which has given it a significant and much-needed boost. The event is historic also because it places the Post Office squarely on an entrepreneurial playing field, a situation which is – and will continue to be – greatly beneficial to the company.
In adopting its new role, the Post Office remains faithful to the vital infrastructural function that it serves for the country, encompassing integrated services including post, logistics, e-commerce, collection and payment, financial services, insurance, mobile telephony, and digital communication, serving families, companies and the public administration all over Italy.
With its 13,200 post offices, 142,000 employees and 28,000 postmen and postwomen, the Post Office is a veritable civilian army whose operations are key to the functioning of the nation. It is a titan, with a turnover of some €23.9 billion (+6%) in the first nine months of 2015. Its profits are steadily growing, with an operating result of €930 million (+26.9%) in the same nine-month period and net assets worth €622 million, almost double the figures for the same period in the previous year.
This newly listed giant is now set to implement its medium-term industrial plan, which was approved in view of its listing on the stock market and which aims to stimulate the company to grow and become increasingly profitable over the next five years, while continuing to facilitate the modernisation and digitalisation of Italy. The plan focuses on three areas of business – post, financial services, and insurance – and envisages the Post Office supporting citizens, businesses and the public administration in the move towards a digital economy, offering a wide range of high-quality, transparent and trustworthy services that are easy to use and that improve users’ quality of life and increase the competitiveness of businesses.