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Poczta Polska S.A. will receive nearly PLN 200m from the State Treasury to develop its logistics infrastructure and parcel offer in the competitive courier market. This will be the first recapitalisation of Poczta Polska since it was transformed into a joint-stock company in 2009, and it will allow the company to implement the ASL project.
The Ministry of State Assets has decided to recapitalise Poczta Polska, with the additional funds to be used for the company’s modernisation. The development strategy of Poczta Polska assumes that within three years, from 2021 to 2023, the company will allocate PLN 1.2bn for investments. The funds currently obtained in the amount of PLN 190m will be allocated to the implementation of the project of the Architecture of the Logistics Network (ASL), which will enable the company to move from the logistics infrastructure for letters to parcels. According to Andrzej Śliwka, the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of State Assets, thanks to the recapitalisation, Poczta Polska will be able to modernise and build logistic centres, which are the key element in the development of e-commerce.
The ASL project aims to increase the efficiency of the logistics network by improving individual stages in the logistics chain, such as on-time delivery, network capacity and optimisation of costs related to parcel handling. Between 2021 and 2025, the company will allocate about PLN 0.8bn for this project.
Modernisation plans for the years 2021-2023
Poczta Polska plans to increase its share in the market of KEP services, and this involves the expansion of infrastructure. Therefore, the company intends to carry out investments in key areas for courier services, among others, focusing on parcel machines, digitisation, logistics and automation of processes. As Tomasz Zdzikot, CEO of Poczta Polska, admits, for years the company has not made sufficient investments to adapt to changes in the postal market, both domestically and internationally. The plan for 2021-2023 assumes that the budget for modernisation will be 5.8% in relation to revenue. This means that the company will now spend four times more on development than in 2019. Poczta Polska’s expenses will be financed from its own funds, but the company stresses that it will also be important for future investments to obtain funding from external sources.
As Mateusz Wodejko, Vice-President of the Management Board of Poczta Polska, adds, without recapitalisation the company would have to postpone the planned investments, which would be unfavourable from the point of view of the very competitive market for courier services. He also explains that the funds needed for the modernisation process will come from recapitalisation, from money generated in the following years, and from debt financing.
The ASL programme will help Poczta Polska adapt to market requirements and allow it to make a smooth transition towards the development of KEP and e-commerce services. Important stages of the modernisation will include the modernisation of three sorting centres and the creation of modern outlets in Szczecin, Olsztyn and Białystok. There are also plans to lease and equip parcel sorters in such cities as Warsaw, Łódź, Kraków and Rzeszów.
As emphasised by Andrzej Bodziony, the Vice-President of the Management Board of Poczta Polska, for the company to gain the leading position in the courier market, it is necessary not only to transform the logistics infrastructure but also to change the offer of services. For the time being, Poczta Polska has focused on modernisation and the first step in this direction is the purchase of three parcel sorters, which within two years will appear in Wrocław, Lisi Ogon near Bydgoszcz, and Lublin. Later, the company wants to launch a second sorting office in Warsaw, which will be fully automated.
The receipt of funds by Poczta Polska was associated with the fulfilment of requirements that were set out in the Regulation of the Minister of Finance, Funds and Regional Policy of 10 March 2021 on the detailed procedure for the acquisition or subscription of shares by the State Treasury from the funds of the Reprivatisation Fund in the year 2021 (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 449). The company also had to present a business plan with a positive result of the Private Investor Test. Work on the application for shares began as early as 2020 and was submitted to the NPRM in April 2021. Once the investment agreement is concluded, a resolution of the General Meeting of Shareholders is passed and a share subscription agreement is signed between Poczta Polska and the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance will be able to transfer funds to the company’s account.