UPDATE 1-Austrian Post ups dividend as elections help sales
* Dividend raised to 1.90 eur/shr from 1.80 eur
* Targets flat sales, EBITDA margin 10-12 pct, higher EBIT
* 2013 EBIT 186 mln eur, revenues 2.37 bln eur (Adds details on results, outlook)
VIENNA, March 13 (Reuters) - Austrian Post proposed a 6 percent dividend increase for 2013 after a year helped by consolidation of subsidiaries in central and eastern Europe and elections in Austria.
The company, whose valuation has been lifted by initial public offerings in the European mail sector, said on Thursday it targeted stable revenues, a core profit margin of 10-12 percent and improved operating profit this year.
Annual earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 2 percent to 186 million euros ($259 million), in line with the Reuters poll average of 184 million euros, as Austrian Post cut staff costs and improved efficiency.
Sales were flat at 2.37 billion euros, missing the poll average, as a rise in postal traffic thanks to election campaigns and absentee ballots in Austria were offset by an ongoing substitution of letter mail by electronic media.
"In the future, we will also pursue growth in the parcel business and in our international business in order to compensate for declining mail volumes," Austrian Post said in a statement on Thursday.
Deutsche Post on Wednesday reported a 7 percent rise in fourth-quarter operating profit and a 0.6 percent decline in revenues amid a cautious recovery in Europe and a boom in online shopping in Germany. ($1 = 0.7192 Euros) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Louise Ireland and Michael Shields)
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