TNT Express Earnings Call Nuggets: Air Assets, Europe Yield Pressure

On Monday, TNT Express NV ADR (TNTEY) reported its third quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

Air Assets

Mark McVicar – Nomura: Two or three questions from me, first off, could you update us on the process of either finding a partner or disposing off the Chinese domestic business which you have been talking about?

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Bernard Bot – CEO ad interim: Mark you want to do them in turn then or…?

Mark McVicar – Nomura: Yeah, let’s say just probably.

Bernard Bot – CEO ad interim: That’s progressing. I would maybe (leave it at that) at this point, but it’s progressing in the way we want, and so hopefully there’ll be more to say in the not-too-far future, but we’re basically sticking to the strategy and the decision and we are executing on that.

Mark McVicar – Nomura: Second question is on the – you talk in the statements about basically getting rid of the air assets that you’ve got. This is the stuff that would get (quote). So this is PanAir and TNT Airways. Is that something you would do – complete before the UPS transaction closes or would you wait until afterwards?

Bernard Bot – CEO ad interim: Well the actual divestment will occur a fraction of a second before the deal completes.

Mark McVicar – Nomura: So you say that’s conditional on getting approval and then it happens just before it completes?

Bernard Bot – CEO ad interim: Exactly and so we’ve prepared (all the carve-outs) and are in the process of making sure that we can do that.

Mark McVicar – Nomura: My final question is could you just expand a little bit more on the discussions with Emirates? Is this them essentially saying we don’t want all this capacity or what’s going on behind that?

Jeroen Seyger – CFO ad interim: Mark, we’re in the process of discussions indeed with Emirates and (with the) general contraction in volumes in the market, which of course has its impact overall, including on this transaction. It’s too early to say what the outcome is, but we will at the same time also prepare mitigating actions in case those would be deemed necessary.

Europe Yield Pressure

Stephen Furlong – Davy Research: Maybe just quick question on Europe. Can you just tell maybe Bernard a bit about, do you see the yield pressure more cyclical or structural and particularly just the overall trend of going more from B2B to B2C and how you configure your network to deal with that?

Bernard Bot – CEO ad interim: As I said, I think there is the – the honest answer, I think there are two elements in there, some that are cyclical; for example the fact that we are seeing reduction in the weight per consignment which is typically things you see if the economic environment a little bit more difficult, and if you look at in Europe the production growth, not the GDP growth, that’s actually turning negative, so that part I would say is cyclical. They are – and of course some of the pricing pressure. And then, there are structural elements which is the switch that we see from the Express Premium to the economy product, but as we highlight I think we have great positions in both and also witness to the excellent volume growth that we’ve had. So I would say it’s a combination of the two elements and obviously we are looking forward to an economic environment that’s a little bit more helpful to master things up again.