Gains on express delivery fail to stem losses for mail deliverer TNT

Dutch logistics group TNT saw its fourth-quarter operating profit drop by a fifth, dragged down by its mail unit, but managed to beat forecasts on a strong performance in its express division.

Like larger rival Deutsche Post, TNT has been struggling to cope with falling consumer demand while adapting to the liberalisation of the mail market, although it has intensified its restructuring efforts since the start of 2010.

Yesterday the company said that a continuous focus on cost and cash was still essential as it remained cautious on the economic recovery. Its express division performed better in 2009 than in 2008 but its mail unit did worse. TNT reported earnings before interest and tax of €128m (£112.4m)on revenue of €2.98bn. Analysts in a poll had expected EBIT of €113m on revenue of €2.86bn.

The company proposed a dividend of €0.53 per share.