InPost sees 2022 better but warns slowing demand could reach peak season

By Olivier Sorgho

November 9 (Reuters)InPost from Poland INPST.AS Wednesday said it saw a better year in 2022 than originally expected, driven by plot volumes, even if he warned a slowdown in demand towards the end of the year which could peak during the Christmas holidays.

InPost, whose Automatic Parcel Vending Machines (APMs) allow customers to collect parcels, said it delivered 178.8 million parcels in the third quarter, up to 32% compared to last year.

“Not only margins, but also parcel volumes and sales will be better than initially expected,” chief financial officer Adam Aleksandrowicz told reporters on a call, without provide a figure.

Quarterly sales rose 32.6% on the year to 1.69 billion zlotys ($361.81 million).

The company, however, warned that it saw slower volumes in October and early November, which would likely reach its fourth quarter period encompassing the peak Christmas holiday period.

Preliminary data showed thisinflation in Poland was 17.9% in October, driven in large part by soaring energy prices, causing consumers to fear cutting back on spending.

CEO Rafal Brzoska said that InPost is recent price adjustments for large customers like Allegro ALEPPO.WApresages good for its margins, a process that Continue in the first quarter of next year.

Responding to a question about further price increases, Brzoska said “it’s hard to imagine anyone wouldn’t consider (…) passing the costs on to customers to some degree.” He added that InPost would do its best to minimize price increases next year for its online store and merchant customers.

Its third-quarter adjusted profit margin (EBITDA) fell to 27.0% from 32.1% a year earlier. The company had warned planned margin erosion in the second and third quarters of 2022, with a rebound seen in the last quarter of this year.

In its key market, Poland, the number of APMs reached 19,254 at the end of the quarter, up 17% compared to the end of 2021.

($1 = 4.6710 zlotys)

(Reporting by Olivier Sorgho; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Louise Heavens)

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Carol N. Valencia