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Austrian Post Raises Dividend as Package Deliveries Reach Record

March 14 (Bloomberg) -- Oesterreichische Post AG, the former monopoly still majority-owned by the Austrian state, said it will raise its dividend by 5.9 percent after package deliveries in the Alpine republic climbed to a record high.

The management will propose a dividend of 1.80 euros ($2.33) a share, the Vienna-based company said in a statement today. Package deliveries in Austria rose to 65 million from 59 million a year earlier, which helped offset declining profits in its mail division, the company said.

“There are two megatrends that affect our business,” Chief Executive Officer Georg Poelzl said at a press conference. “One is the decline in mail volume because of electronic substitution.” The other is that online shopping and international trade is boosting package deliveries, he said.

The company is targeting a yearly revenue growth of 1 to 2 percent in the mid-term after sales rose 0.7 percent to 2.37 billion euros in 2012. It bought or raised stakes in companies in Romania, Poland and Bulgaria last year to expand its business outside of Austria.

Austrian Post will stop investing in its Hungarian unit because of “protectionist” actions by local authorities, Poelzl said. The Hungarian unit accounts for less than 1 percent of the company’s total revenue, he said.

The company’s shares fell as much as 1.7 percent and traded 1.4 percent lower at 31.60 euros at 12:40 p.m. local time.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexander Weber in Vienna at aweber45@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mariajose Vera at mvera1@bloomberg.net

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