Toll keen to emphasise the positives in tough times

Company spotlights host of initiatives despite parent firm’s ominous outlook

Toll keen to emphasise the positives in tough times
Inside Toll's new Wellington facility


Lasting impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic and targeted cyberattacks continue to crimp Japan Post’s Toll international logistics business.

The combined division comprising Toll, JP Toll Logistics and Toll Express Japan recorded a $116 million operating loss (EBIT) in the three months ending July 30, $92 million worse off than the prior corresponding period (pcp).

A large-scale handling of Covid-19 prevention supplies led to added revenue but also increased operating expenses, with wider slowdowns attributed to pandemic-related economic impacts and the high-profile cyberattacks targeting the business.

Its $546 million revenue rise was more than offset by a $637 million increase in costs, despite a $30 million reduction in personnel expenses.

"Operating income increased by A$546 million (an increase of 26.2% year-on-year) overall, due to large-scale handling of Covid-19 prevention supplies by the Global Logistics Asia division, despite a decrease in revenue with lower volumes handled in Global Express, due to the impact of Covid-19 and targeted cyber attacks," Japan Post notes at a time when business-media reports of an impending sale of Toll continue to swirl.

"Other expenses increased significantly with the large-scale handling of Covid-19 prevention supplies, while cost reductions in Global Express were not enough to compensate for the decline in revenue, resulting in a net operating loss (EBIT) of A$116 million (a year-on-year increase in the net operating loss)."

Individually, a $19 million profit for Global Logistics division was undermined by a $101 million loss in Global Express and $5 million in Global Forwarding, with a further $29 million shortfall in corporate/other.

Japan Post's full financial year result told a similar story for Toll

Despite this, Toll has been active domestically on a number of fronts recently.

Yesterday it announced itself as a founding partner of Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds, the new not-for-profit organisation launched to improve the mental health and wellbeing of workers in the Australian supply chain industry. 

Earlier, it released its 2020-2022 Reconciliation Action Plan, formally recognising the part that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have played in its business, as employees, customers, suppliers and communities throughout its history.

"Toll is committed to working towards an equal and respectful future for the First Peoples of this land," Toll president Global Logistics Peter Stokes says.

"Showing respect, working towards an understanding of culture and histories, acknowledging injustices and providing opportunities is an important step. 

"Toll is proud to be on this journey and our Reconciliation Action Plan is our pubic commitment to making a valuable contribution towards a reconciled Australia."

And, in New Zealand, Toll officially opened a new $25m logistics hub, Toll Aotea, in Wellington.

That facility accommodates more than 60 employees and subcontractors who will process around 800,000 parcels, satchels and pallets a year, the company notes.


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