SYDNEY – Australia Post delivered a $312 million after-tax profit, up 10.9 per cent from last year, thanks to strong growth in online shopping. The result also reflected purchases of the StarTrack parcels delivery service and cuts to running costs.However, traditional mail volumes continued to fall as more people turn to e-mail.
“Australia Post now delivers one billion fewer letters per year than we did in 2008, due to the shift by both businesses and consumers to digital means of communication,” said CEO Ahmed Fahour.
Aus Post revenues rose 15 percent to $5.8 bn.
However, losses in its mail business ($218.4 m) was offset by a 30% rise in Parcel & Express Services to $355m, as online commerce booms with parcel delivery services chock-a-block with orders. During the financial year, it launched a network of 108 parcel lockers for 24/7 access to online purchased items, reaching 7 million customers.
The Post Office’s retail services was also a major driver of revenues, up 13%.
Fahour said the volume drop (-5.4%) and the absence of a price rise for stamps during the year led to the regulated mail business losing $218.4 million in the past financial year.
It sounds like the stamp price may be going up. “If unchanged, the widening losses in our traditional letter services will eventually stifle positive developments in our parcels business,” said Fahour.
Australia Post has delivered a $244 million dividend to Canberra for 2012-13, but warns the decline in regular mail bodes badly for overall business.
In June, Aus Post announced a “strategic partnership” with Telstra hosting Australia Post’s Digital MailBox on its cloud platform.