By Olivier Sorgho
GDANSK (Reuters) -Parcel locker firm InPost forecast on Friday margin improvement in its key Poland market and ruled out job cuts and more price hikes this year, as it benefits from cutting costs and growing parcel volumes.
InPost, whose automated parcel machines (APMs) allow customers to pick up their packages, forecasts an increase in its adjusted core profit (EBITDA) margin in Poland, after it dropped to 43.3% last year from 46.1% in 2021.
In a call, Chief Executive Rafal Brzoska ruled out job cuts this year, saying that InPost planned to hire instead. He added the company would not raise prices again in 2023, after a hikefrom March.
Despite facing higher costs and signs of slowing consumer demand, InPost has been notching up record parcel numbers, benefiting from a surge in e-commerce both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So far in Q1 2023, despite signs of a slowdown in consumer spending, the same trend has not been observed in our volumes,” the company said.
Parcel volumes in Poland continued growing at double-digit annual rates, with a similar trend seen in France.
The company will work to resolve logistics bottlenecks in Britain and plans for business there to turn profitable in 2024.
It expects to spend between 1.1 billion and 1.2 billion zlotys on capital expenditures this year, mostly to support its growth abroad.
The group posted record full-year adjusted core profit of 1.96 billion Zlotys ($457.29 million), slightly above a forecast of 1.94 billion from a company-provided poll of analysts.
APM numbers in Poland reached 19,306 at the end of 2022, slightly below guidance from last year that predicted 20,000.
(Reporting by Olivier Sorgho; Editing by Matt Scuffham and Clarence Fernandez)