Performance summary

Business developments

In 2019 we achieved our target of 50% of revenues coming from e-commerce ahead of time, as our Parcels business continued to grow robustly to a revenue share of 52%. Volume growth was strong in the first half of the year, but below expectation in the final six months. Growth in some customer segments, mainly fashion and electronics, slowed within Parcels, due in part to a reduction in consumer spending and the rationalisation of webshops. Our operations in Belgium had a strong year, realising double-digit growth. Delivery quality at Parcels also remained high throughout the year, ahead of our internal targets, with particularly strong results during the peak end-of-year season.

At Spring, revenue development was supported by its transition to being a provider of global e-commerce solutions. Spring also focused on developing a stronger capacity within Europe, driven by significant growth in e-commerce. These efforts are aimed at decreasing the operation's dependency on Asian markets.

Mail in the Netherlands continued to face volume decline, with addressed mail volumes decreasing by 9.7% during the year, excluding Sandd (2018: 10.7%), driven by substitution and volume loss to competition. We expect volume development in 2020 to be more in line with market decline, with less impact from competition in the physical mail market following the Sandd integration.

Mail in the Netherlands achieved strong cost savings following adjustments to the sorting and delivery process, optimisation of the network, streamlining of staff and the further centralisation of locations.

However, we missed our 95% delivery target, delivering 94% of consumer mail by the next delivery day. The decrease in quality occurred mainly in the fourth quarter, which was when we adjusted our sorting processes to accommodate Sandd's mail volumes in our network. We also began receiving increasing mail volumes from Sandd, although the employees needed to process these volumes only started in early February 2020.

Creating value for customers

Across the company, the percentage of highly satisfied customers fell to 27% in 2019 (2018: 30%). While we did not meet our 2019 target of 30%, we did manage to bend the downward trend during the year, with the percentage of highly satisfied customers increasing to 28% in the fourth quarter from 26% in the second quarter. Our customer satisfaction score also decreased slightly to 80% (2018: 82%), just off our 82% target. In the first six months in particular we were operating at peak network capacity for extended periods in our Parcels business, and made a number of changes across our logistics network. Together, these developments impacted customer satisfaction.

In the second half of 2019, increased capacity through our new sorting centres, a new cross-dock, and improvements in capacity planning with large customers, helped us to improve our highly satisfied customer scores within Parcels, and to exceed our delivery quality target for the year. Customer satisfaction levels at Mail in the Netherlands remained stable, and compared to 2018, which we are proud of given the number of operational changes that took place in 2019.

We developed and implemented new digital and data-driven solutions for customers and made good progress with the digitalisation of some important processes within our networks. Implementing these smoothly proved to be challenging in some cases, leading to valuable learning takeaways.

Providing customer value is a key driver within the company. We achieve this in many different ways, from providing webshops and e-tailers with logistic solutions that support their e-commerce business, to ensuring senders and receivers of mail they can always connect. By focusing on constantly improving our networks and investing in digitalisation and technology, we help all of our customers connect more reliably and more easily.

Strategy execution

We execute our strategy through our drivers, as explained in the chapter 'Our strategy'. In this chapter we explain how our drivers help us achieve our strategic objectives, which are to help customers grow their business and secure a sustainable mail business. For each driver we provide examples that illustrate the events, initiatives and related outputs that contributed to our performance.