Last Mile Brief 28/04/2023: bpost set to face investigation over possible overcharging of government contracts
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Following bpost’s admission that it may have illegally overcharged for government contracts, a Belgian Minister has said that the state postal operator will be investigated over the matter.
In a trading update published on Monday, bpost said profit margins on some services it has provided to the Belgian Government may “not be acceptable under applicable law”.
“Following to the compliance review relating to (the tender for) the concession for the distribution of newspapers and periodicals in Belgium, bpostgroup voluntarily launched compliance reviews relating to other tenders and public contracts. The preliminary results of these compliance reviews, which remain ongoing, revealed that bpostgroup’s margins on certain services provided to the Belgian State may not be acceptable under applicable law. This is expected to result in a material financial impact for bpostgroup,” said the company, on Monday.
Commenting on the issue on Wednesday, Petra De Sutter, Belgium’s minister for public administration, said:
“It is self-explanatory to me that every euro overpaid must be refunded. If abuses have occurred, then there will be inevitable consequences.”
Following Monday’s admission, shares at bpost dropped 20% to record lows.
In its statement, bpostgroup added that it is currently not able to provide more detailed information, in particular on the impact in relation to past revenues, pending further legal and financial analysis. The company added that it would strive to give more detailed information as soon as possible.