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Belgium's Bpost takes earnings hit but sees less risk

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The logo of Belgium's national postal deliverer bpost is pictured outside the company's headquarters in Brussels
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By Dagmarah Mackos and Olivier Cherfan

(Reuters) - Belgian postal operator Bpost on Thursday reported a 22.5% drop in its second-quarter earnings which beat its guidance set out in February and it now sees less risk from "continued market disruptions".

The Belgian mail, parcel and e-commerce logistics company, posted adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 82.6 million euros in the second quarter, a lesser decline than that expected by analysts who had forecast an adjusted EBIT of 70.4 million euros. The company reported resilient mail revenues and growth at its Radial North America business.

The group revised downwards the potential impact on its full-year results of rising inflation, salary indexation, transport and energy costs and customer confidence to 25 million from 40 million euros previously.

Bpost however still sees uncertainties from stronger headwinds and consumer behaviour in the third quarter and for the peak of the fourth quarter 2022.

"We continue to take measures at all levels in order to phase and mitigate these adverse impacts whilst positioning our business for success in the mid-term,” Chief Executive Officer Dirk Tirez said in a statement.

Operating income at the E-Logistics unit in North America grew 8.2%, boosted by the performance of its Radial subsidiary, up 18.3% year-on-year.

Bpost parcels volumes in Belgium decreased by 12.9% impacted by e-commerce giant Amazon which is handling more packages through its same-day delivery service Amazon Logistics, also hurting European peers such as Deutsche Post.

Dutch rival PostNL in May cut its full-year forecast after it reported a steep drop in its quarterly profit, warning that economic uncertainty, inflation and pressure on e-commerce volumes make 2022 "more challenging than previously anticipated".

(Reporting by Olivier Cherfan and Dagmarah Mackos; Editing by David Evans and Elaine Hardcastle)

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