Czech Post – illustration photo.
Prague – Česká pošta, if it does not start transformational steps, may end up in insolvency by the end of the year. Last year, the state enterprise reported a loss of 1.5 billion crowns. Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN) said this at today's press conference.
The Ministry, together with the management of the post office, is preparing a transformation project, which will consist of dividing the company into a state-owned enterprise providing basic services ordered by the state and a commercial part providing parcel services or logistics. The basic transformation documents should be approved by the middle of the year, and the division of the company should begin in the fall.
As part of the preparation for the transformation, the Czech Telecommunications Authority (ČTÚ) has already submitted a proposal for a comment procedure to reduce the minimum number of post office branches from 3,200 to 2,900. Branches should not be canceled in places where there is only one post office, but rather in larger cities where there is more mail For example, the number of post offices in Pardubice will drop from 13 to nine, the minister said. According to him, the move will not mean a reduction in the availability of services, as the post office will look for other service routes. For example, he mentioned the development of a network of partners.
With the Ministry of Finance and Industry and Trade, the Austrian wants to find a financing model that would help the post office bridge the next two-year transformation period. In 2025, he wants to have the post office completely divided in the new scheme, with the commercial part being in profit.
As part of the division of the company, according to the minister, it will be necessary to find a functional financial model for the part that provides the basic services that it orders state, these include the delivery of letters or pensions throughout the territory of the Czech Republic or the available branch network. At the same time, both parts of the company should come up with new modern services, for example, online ordering of parcels or the possibility to book a visit to the branch electronically at a selected time.
In recent years, Czech Post has been operating in the red. Last year, it reduced its loss by half to 681 million crowns. In the previous year, it reported a drop of 1.37 billion crowns. Last year, after approval by the European Commission, it received reimbursement of the costs of providing basic services from the state for the last four years in the amount of six billion crowns. She had to use the finance to a large extent to repay operating loans.