By Matina Harkoftakis
We may be passing through the last months of 2023, but the Hellenic Post Office has still not proceeded to publicize the financial results for the year 2022, while it appears that they intend to use up the entire legal window of November 20. Obviously, since the organization is not listed on the Greek stock exchange, it does not have to follow a strict schedule, however it is obliged for reasons of transparency to post its financial statements to GEMI within the prescribed period of time.
What is puzzling is the management’s silence regarding the provision of any information on the performance of 2022 (10 days before the end of the publication deadline) despite the persistent questions of Capital.gr and the rest of the journalists in the context yesterday’s update.
ELTA is one of the few, possibly the only non-listed subsidiary of the Superfund, which has not posted last year’s balance sheet. It should be noted that the current managing director of the Hellenic Post, Meglikis Sklikas, was appointed head in January 2023, undertaking to accelerate the implementation of the plan for the transformation of the organization, which was deemed necessary in order to limit operating costs and facilitate the transition to digital time.
Losses and negative equity
The beginning was made in 2021 with the voluntary exit program of 1,976 employees, for which 112.233 million euros were spent and significantly burdened the financial results, however it reduced the salary costs, without, however, clarifying the exact percentage of the reduction. In 2021, ELTA, mainly due to the voluntary program, had negative equity of -52.2 million at the company level, while the group recorded losses of 131.536 million euros compared to profits of 9.58 million euros in the previous year.
It should be noted, however, that in the second half of 2020, the company’s management, in order to smooth out the issue of cash crunch, proceeded with a share capital increase of 100 million euros while collecting 150 million euros from the Greek government as the remainder of the net cost of providing the universal postal service for the years 2013-2018.
Asked about ELTA’s progress in 2023, Mr. Sklikas was content to state that they are moving within the forecasts while he mentioned that this year will also close with losses as part of the effects of the cyber attack received in December 2022 will be reflected while at the same time, the process of transformation has not been completed.
Lock in 143 stores
Today the restructuring plan is in full swing and is expected to be completed in about a year and a half. In this direction, the organization recently decided to close 143 physical stores throughout Greece, which were showing low activity. It is indicative that some had an annual turnover of only 5,000 euros, while the post office operating within the Parliament also fell victim to the cuts. Now, the network amounts to 1,000 stores, while according to the management, no more locks are planned. It should be noted that in this case as well, the percentage of the savings from the cessation of operation of the points in question was not specified.
At the staff level, more than 5,000 people are currently employed, a number that is high but not unnecessary according to management. The interesting thing is that despite the large number there is a significant gap at the executive level. Specifically, ELTA is looking for people to cover organizational management positions such as general manager of finance, general commercial manager, general manager of IT and general manager of support functions. It should be noted that the previous general financial director remained in the position for only two months as he did not fit the philosophy of the organization, while the position of commercial director has been vacant for about a year and a half.