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TNT hurt by 146m-euro writedown

22 February 10 09:26 GMT

Europe's second-biggest mail delivery firm TNT has reported a 58% drop in profit after writing down the value of its regular mail arm.

Net profit fell to 25m euros (£22m) in the fourth quarter of 2009, from 59m euros a year earlier. Sales fell 0.5% to 2.95m euros.

TNT wrote 146m euros off the value of its mail operations after a review.

However, its express business performed better in the last three months of 2009 than in the same period in 2008.

Operating income in the division rose to 81m euros - more than four times more than the 18m euros it made a year ago.

Like larger rival Deutsche Post, TNT has struggled to cope with falling consumer demand, but has begun to focus on its restructuring efforts.

"The first weeks of 2010 make me somewhat optimistic on improving economic conditions," chief executive Peter Bakker said.

"However, we will continue to manage our group from cautious assumptions, leading to continued strong focus on cash and cost."

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