DPD parent company Geopost saw revenues remain flat in 2023, as the impact of the war in Ukraine, energy price rises, and inflation took their toll on global demand.

The company’s latest annual results revealed revenue at €15.69bn (£13.42bn), rising by just 0.7% during the year, with delivery rates also remaining static at 1 billion parcels delivered worldwide, down by 0.6% on the previous year.

Geopost, which was known as DPDgroup until March last year, is part of the French postal giant La Poste. It operates in more than 50 countries across all continents and employs over 57,000 staff. Its brands include DPD, Chronopost, SEUR, BRT, Speedy and Jadlog.

Reporting on its latest annual results, Geopost said: “In 2023, uncertainties and disruptions linked to a complex geopolitical environment, marked by several international conflicts, persisted.

“Energy prices and inflation continued to weigh on global demand, while economic growth stagnated and even decreased in certain regions.

“The fast/express parcel business faced ever-increasing pressure on costs, in both B-to-B and B-to-C segments. For the first time since the emergence of e-commerce, it has declined notably in Germany (-12% in value) in the UK (-3% in value), and in France (-1,8% in value), which corresponds to even higher decreases in volumes.

“This e-commerce volume decline significantly reflects the choices made by households against a backdrop of falling purchasing power and more cautious consumer habits in most of the markets where Geopost operates.”

Geopost saw mixed fortunes across its geographical regions. Revenue from the express and parcel activities amounted to €13,028m (£11,147m), down by €13m (£11.12m), which it attributed to an adverse macro-economic climate, dogged by high inflation, weak growth, and a slowdown in consumption. This resulted in volumes slowing to 2.1 billion parcels delivered, down by 0.6% compared to 2022, representing more than 8 million parcels delivered each day.

The four main European countries served by Geopost - France, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy – account for more than 55% of the group’s total revenue.

Whilst some countries saw organic revenue increase during the year, notably Italy (+5.7%), France (+2.8%), Spain (+1.6%) and Poland (+1.0%), others recorded an organic decline such as Germany (-5.7%), the UK (-3.1%) and Benelux (-1.0%).

The group said out-of-home delivery was one of the main growing segments, with a 25% growth of parcels delivered out-of-home in 2023, compared to 2022.

The group attributed this to its broad network of 100,000 pickup points throughout Europe, which includes 25,000 points in Poland, 18,000 in France, 10,000 in the UK, 8,000 in Germany, 7,500 in Italy and 5,000 in Spain, plus more than 9,000 in the Nordic countries.

Automatic lockers is another growth area, with almost 19,000 lockers deployed in Europe by Geopost, 6,000 more than by the end of 2022.

The company is also focusing on expanding its food and healthcare products delivery offering across its territories and is expanding its services into South America.

The year also saw Geopost intensify its focus on sustainable delivery, achieving a 1.4% reduction of its GHG emissions compared to 2022, as it continued to transform its fleet.

Geopost operates more than 9,000 low-emission vehicles across Europe, representing 12.5% of Geopost’s last-mile fleet (30% in Hungary, 27% in the UK). Its low emission vehicles currently service with 126 cities.

The group is also using HVO for long and medium-distance transport activities, particularly in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.

In total, 13.3% of the kilometres driven by Geopost’s linehaul fleet are powered by alternative energies (62% in the UK and Ireland).

Commenting on the results, Yves Delmas, Geopost chief executive, said: ”Altogether, 2023 has been a pivotal year: we continued to deliver on our strategy by adapting and taking the necessary actions to protect our operating performance whilst resolutely carrying out our ambitious sustainability agenda.

“A case in point is the endorsement of our net-zero targets by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), a major achievement and a testament to our commitment to fighting climate change.

“ Today, we’re confident in our strategy and our long-term ambitions, and we’re looking forward to 2024 as a new milestone in our economic, sustainable and social development.”