Strike threats and decline in mail volumes hit TNT

SHARES in Dutch postal firm TNT went on a rollercoaster ride yesterday, with stock sinking to a seven-month low after its disappointing third-quarter earnings report before recovering.

Pre-tax profit plunged 24 per cent to €108m (£94m), with the firm dragged down by mail, where volumes in the Netherlands declined 7.7 per cent and yields were pressed by intense competition.

Chief executive Peter Bakker admitted that the results were “good but not great” but a spokesman said yields would improve as the company renegotiated low-cost contracts given to major customers in the downturn.

The future for TNT has been uncertain since August when it announced plans to split its mail and express businesses by January 2011.

Since then it has been locked in a trade union dispute, with an ultimatum threatening strike action to expire on 8 November. The stock closed up 0.8 per cent at €19.69.