25 Dec 2023 16:29

Russian Post to receive about 1 billion rubles from sale of non-core assets in 2023

MOSCOW. Dec 25 (Interfax) - Russian Post has launched a program to sell off its non-core assets; in 2023, these sales will generate about 1 billion rubles, Russian Post CEO Mikhail Volkov said in an interview with Rossiya 24.

He said that the program is designed to go on for several years, and provides for the sale of non-core assets at open auction. "The sites are absolutely different - both large and small, different geographies," the head of the company said.

He also said that in 2023, Russian Post would receive about 1 billion rubles from the lease of non-core assets.

Effective management of the property complex can become one of the sources for the repayment of previously accumulated debts, Volkov said.

The company's management is now conducting an audit of its own real estate properties, Volkov said. "The work the team is doing now is very important - to decide which assets can be effectively used for our core activities, and those assets that are non-core. There are three main approaches: there are locations we plan to rent out and others we can sell, while some sites will probably be more expedient and economically profitable to use as part of our redevelopment," the Russian Post CEO said.

As for the previously proposed collection of infrastructure payments from marketplaces in favor of Russian Post, Volkov said that the issue is now off the agenda.

"This option for supporting the social function of the Post Office was indeed discussed; it was one of the options. It is important to note here that the government, the state, as our shareholder, carefully evaluates and weighs certain decisions, first, through the key focus of attention to people, and how it will affect people. Therefore, today this decision has been taken off the agenda," Volkov said.

Russian Post took the initiative in the spring to propose collecting infrastructure payments of 0.5% of quarterly turnover from marketplaces and other e-commerce market participants with annual revenues of 1 billion rubles and higher, and using the funds received to maintain its unprofitable network of post office locations.

In November, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin rejected the infrastructure payment initiative, and Russian Post was instructed to study opportunities to increase efficiency using its own internal reserves by the end of Q1 2024.

Meanwhile, the interactions between Russian Post and marketplaces are actively developing, Volkov said.

"More than 30,000 of our branches have, in fact, become multi-format delivery points, and people can order goods from marketplaces, and have them delivered to Post Offices. This will bring these services closer to people, become more convenient and, I'm sure, will influence the further development of e-commerce," the head of Russian Post said.