Business News in Brief: Postal service under increasing pressure

The furniture manufacturer Tvilum, Lyngby football club and Danish blue chip shareholders all know exactly how Postnord Denmark is feeling right now

It wasn’t long ago that the national postal service Postnord Denmark was outlining its plans to break even by 2020 by delivering post and parcels together. But it won’t be plain sailing.

READ MORE: Rescue package for Danish postal service to cost 6,000 jobs

Firstly, it will face competition from Dansk Supermarked’s new initiative, which will enable customers to send packages from 365 selected Føtex, Netto and Bilka stores – at a reported discount of 30-50 percent on Postnord Denmark.

It will surprise many customers to note that some of the supermarkets, which already host Postnord Denmark outlets for sending and receiving packages, will soon open their own.

Secondly, there is now talk that Postnord’s Swedish parent company Postnord Sweden plans to start charging customers to receive packages, raising speculation the same practice could be introduced in Denmark.

Bad start for OMXC25 index
Following heavy losses on indexes such as the Dow Jones (down 4.6 percent) and Nasdaq (-2.7) in the US on Monday, and then Japan’s Nikkei index (-6.5) and China’s Hang Seng (-4.94) earlier today, the OMXC25 index in Copenhagen fell by 3.7 percent within ten minutes of its opening today.

Healthy profit for Pandora
Jewellery company Pandora’s total sales rose 12 percent to 22.8 billion kroner in 2017, as EBITA increased from 7.4 to 7.8 billion kroner. Pandora will accordingly be sharing 6 billion kroner with its shareholders in 2018, confirmed its chief executive, Anders Colding Friis.

TDC pursuing major takeover
TDC is pursuing a takeover of Modern Times Group Nordic, which if approved could be significant for Danish TV viewers, as the two media giants own Yousee, Viasat and TV3. Together, at least 10 million households in the Nordic region subscribe to one of their packages. TDC will make a payment of 3.3 billion Swedish kroner to MTG along with 308 million of its shares.

Serious bid for Saxo Bank’s banking unit
The Danish bank and insurance group Alm Brand has paid 360 million kroner to take a majority stake in the banking unit of Saxo Bank, the online trading platform operator. Subject to approval from the authorities, the pair expect the deal to be completed by April 1. Saxo Privatbank has 15,000 individual and 2,500 small and medium-sized business customers – a balance sheet that includes accumulated loans worth 1.8 billion kroner, mortgage loans worth 5.2 billion kroner and 3.2 billion kroner in cash.

Danske Bank confirms HQ plans
Danske Bank has confirmed it will officially open a new headquarters at Postgrunden in 2023. The former post office centre near Copenhagen Central Station, which has been vacant since 2015, is being developed into a complex that will also include cafes, restaurants and office buildings. Danske Bank sold its current HQ at Holmens Kanal in 2016, its home for 147 years, to Scottish life insurance company Standard Life for 1.4 billion kroner. The bank also has a major office in Høje Taastrup.

Furniture maker’s bankruptcy could result in 700 job losses
Some 700 workers at Tvilum have been laid off for two weeks following reports that the furniture manufacturer – which is split between plants in Fårvang and Kjellerup, north of Silkeborg in east Jutland – has gone bankrupt. Tvilum, which is owned by Revolution Capital Group and primarily supplies to Jysk, reportedly owes 17 million kroner to SKAT. Not long ago it had 1,800 employees, but it has been struggling for the last six years.

Second EPL bidder for Lyngby?
Superliga club Lyngby is on the verge of bankruptcy. Its players have not been paid on time for a while, creditors are hovering ready to pounce, and its majority shareholder Torben Jensen has been reported to the police by an investor who felt he was “deceived” into pumping funds into the outfit. Two weeks ago, it emerged that English Premier League club Brighton was considering a rescue package, and now DR is reporting that another EPL club is interested.

Overqualified for our station
Every third Dane is employed in a job for which they are overqualified, according to a new Rockwool Foundation study, which assessed the employment status of a wide range of workers, including those educated in engineering and the humanities.

Increasingly buying online goods from overseas sites
Danes spent almost three times as much buying products from overseas websites as they did at physical stores beyond Danish borders last year, reports Politiken. Around 40 billion kroner of the 115 billion spent online was spent abroad – over a third of all e-commerce purchases. In 2012, the rate was a fifth.

Concierge app to expand globally
DigitalGuest, an app that helps hotel guests to make the most of the surroundings, both in and outside their place of stay, has confirmed a sizeable capital injection that should enable it to expand globally. Since launching in 2016, the smartphone concierge has proven to be a success at various Scandinavian hotel chains.

A brave new digital frontier
Michael Dyrby, a former news director at TV2, is the man charged with relaunching BT and Metroxpress following their merger. The new chief executive editor will be responsible for implementing a new digital strategy.

Hotel rated Denmark’s best again
Bandholm Hotel has been voted Denmark’s best for the second year running by users of the travel website TripAdvisor. The coastal hotel, which is located in north Lolland, received 4.5 or 5 out of 5 from 93 percent of its reviewers.