Outlook 2022

Our FY 2021 performance was extraordinary and exceeded earlier expectations. We ended the year with a strong financial position which is an excellent starting point for further growth. The execution of our strategy with strong focus on capital allocation is essential for value creation for our stakeholders.

We continue to manage our Parcels segment for profitable growth. PostNL is well positioned to capture the ongoing, strong e-commerce growth. Our digital platforms enable us to offer e-tailers and consumers greater control over sending and delivery. Our strategic focus will be on balancing volume and value by expanding our capacity to accommodate further growth.

Mail in the Netherlands is managed for value. We focus on keeping physical mail relevant with our strong nationwide network and aim to generate a stable cashflow performance. To offset the impact of ongoing volume decline, we are implementing further efficiencies across our operations and adjust our processes to realise cost savings and strengthen our services.

With our Digital Next programme, we aim to strengthen our competitive position by further building on our platforms, connecting customers and consumers through simple and smart digital journeys.

PostNL’s long-term value creation is connected to the global UN Sustainable Development Goals. We have set ourselves a number of ambitious environmental goals to combat climate change, including emission-free last-mile delivery in the Benelux by 2030.

We expect normalised EBIT for FY 2022 to be broadly in line with normalised EBIT of FY 2021, after adjusting for the assumed non-recurring impact related to Covid-19 of €82 million, based on the following main drivers:

  • Volume growth Parcels of 3%-5%

  • Volume decline Mail in the Netherlands of 8%-10%

  • Limited impact of Covid-19 in 2022

  • Organic cost development including additional inflationary cost pressure, for example energy and transportation costs

  • Start-up costs of new facilities, acceleration of digital transformation and higher IFRS related pension expenses

  • Cross-border activities expected to show limited recovery in first half of 2022 versus second half of 2021, resulting in full year step-down

    • lower volumes and less efficient infrastructure utilisation

    • impact global supply chain disruptions and increasing freight costs

Free cash flow is expected to be below FY 2021 due to lower reported EBIT, a step-up in investments, expected larger settlements of terminal dues, less tax cash out and non-recurring cash proceeds related to divestments in 2021.

The table below shows our outlook for 2022 on normalised EBIT and free cash flow.

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PostNL Outlook 2022 in million



2021 adjusted for assumed non-recurring impact Covid-19





Normalised EBIT



210 - 240

including ~(20) for expansion of capacity, Digital Next and increase in non-cash pension expenses

Free cash flow1



110 - 140

  • 1 Cash flow before dividend, acquisitions, redemption of bonds/other financing activities; after payment of leases.

PostNL operates in dynamic markets, however, and that brings opportunities and risks. Global economic developments and tightening local labour markets, combined with an increase in absenteeism, are putting pressure on cost development and are anticipated to impact performance in 2022. Uncertainty remains in relation to the impact of Covid-19 and the expected recovery in cross-border activities.

Other non-financial targets for 2022:

  • Share of highly satisfied customers: 35% (2021: 34%)

  • Share of engaged employees: 82% (2021: 84%, which was positively impacted by Covid-19)

  • Delivery quality Mail in the Netherlands at/above the minimum required level of 95% (2021: preliminary 94%)

  • Delivery quality Parcels in the Netherlands at/above 98% (2021: 98%)

  • CO2 efficiency of 186 gramme per kilometre (2021: 203)