August 14, 2014 / 6:32 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Austrian Post keeps outlook; Q2 operating profit beats forecasts

* Q2 EBIT up 5.2 pct to 40.6 mln eur vs Reuters poll avg 39.5 mln

* Revenue 573.5 mln eur vs poll avg 571 mln

* Keeps 2014 outlook for higher revenue, goal of higher EBIT (Adds quotes and background)

VIENNA, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Operating profit at Austrian Post rose 5.2 percent in the second quarter, beating analysts’ estimates, thanks to strict cost discipline and a revenue boost in its mail business from absentee ballots cast in European Parliament elections.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to 40.6 million euros ($54.2 million) on slightly higher sales of 573.5 million, the company said on Thursday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected EBIT to rise 2.3 percent to 39.5 million euros on steady sales.

Chief Executive Georg Poelzl reiterated the outlook for stable revenue and stuck to the group’s goal for higher operating profit this year.

“In order to further cement our market leadership in our core business, we are continually expanding our self-service solutions and online services such as the new Post App. However, we will also exploit opportunities in growth markets and are currently testing the future field of food logistics”, he said.

Operating profit had fallen 2.6 percent in the first quarter as revenue dipped from a year-ago quarter that was boosted by Austrian elections mailings, the company said in May.

Post is counting on higher parcel revenue to compensate for a decrease in mail due to substitution by electronic media.

The company had said in March it targeted stable revenues, a core profit margin of 10-12 percent and improved operating profit this year.

$1 = 0.7486 euro Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Pravin Char

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