Accounting policies

Revenue recognition

PostNL's revenue from contracts with customers consist of the provision of postal and logistics services. Revenue from contracts with customers is recognised when the goods are transferred or the services are rendered to the customer at an amount that reflects the consideration to which PostNL expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. Revenue is the gross inflow of economic benefits during the current year that arise from ordinary activities and result in an increase in equity, other than increases relating to contributions from equity participants.

Variable consideration/volume discounts

If the consideration in a contract includes a variable amount, PostNL estimates the amount of consideration to which it will be entitled in exchange for transferring the goods or rendering the services to the customer. The variable consideration is estimated at contract inception and constrained until it is highly probable that a significant revenue reversal in the amount of cumulative revenue recognised will not occur when the associated uncertainty with the variable consideration is subsequently resolved. PostNL provides volume discounts to certain customers once the quantity of goods transferred or services rendered during the period exceeds a threshold specified in the contract. Discounts are offset against amounts invoiced to the customer. To estimate the variable consideration for the expected future discounts, PostNL applies the expected value method. The variable consideration can be reasonably accurately determined from achieved volumes and contract agreements.

Contract liabilities

A contract liability is the obligation to transfer goods or render services to a customer for which PostNL has received consideration (or an amount of consideration is due) from the customer. If a customer pays consideration before PostNL transfers goods or renders services to the customer, a contract liability is recognised when the payment is made or the payment is due (whichever is earlier). Contract liabilities are recognised as revenue when PostNL performs under the contract and relate to amongst others deferred revenue from unused stamps, deferred revenue from franking machines and the rental of mailboxes. See note 3.1.3 Contract liabilities to the Consolidated financial statements for more information.

Revenue from contracts with customers

Revenue from contracts with customers represent revenue from the transfer of goods and rendering of services to third parties less discounts, credit notes and taxes levied on sales. Accumulated experience is used to estimate and provide for the discounts.

Other operating revenue

Other operating revenue relates to the sale of goods and rendering of services not related to PostNL’s ordinary postal and logistics services and mainly include rental income of temporarily leased-out property and custom clearance income.

The company’s business involves the logistical service of delivering mail, parcels and other consignments. Nearly all of the company’s revenues are represented by a single performance obligation being ‘logistic services’. Revenue is being recognised at a point in time when the goods are transferred or services are rendered to the customer, generally on delivery of the mail, parcels or other consignments. Other performance obligations within the company’s business comprise the rental of post-boxes (revenue recognition over time) and stamp collection services (revenue recognition at a point in time).

The following table presents PostNL's revenue from contracts with customers relating to the reported operating segments. See note 2.7 Segment information to the Consolidated financial statements for the segment information of the other revenue and eliminations.

PostNL Revenue from contracts with customers in million
2022, 2023

Year ended at 31 December20222023
Mail in the Netherlands1,4881,366
PostNL Other214245

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Revenue growth within Parcels was partly offset by decreased revenue within Mail in the Netherlands, mainly resulting from the continued volume decline in addressed mail. In 2023, revenue from contracts with customers includes intercompany sales of €282 million for Parcels (2022: €242 million), €192 million for Mail in the Netherlands (2022: €277 million) and €240 million for PostNL Other (2022: €212 million).

The following table presents the geographical segmentation of revenue from contracts with customers. The basis of allocation of revenue by geographical area is the country or region in which the entity recording the sales is located. The increase in revenue from the rest of the world was mainly due to volume growth from Asia.

PostNL Geographical segmentation in million
2022, 2023

Year ended at 31 December20222023
The Netherlands2,7362,691
Rest of Europe264266
Rest of the World132196

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