Australia Post (AusPost) reported revenue of A$4.80 billion (US$3.48 billion) for the six months ending December 31, 2021, an increase of 10.4% from one year to the next. This period saw strong parcel volumes but a decline in letter volumes, with the post also struggling with staffing issues related to Covid-19.
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The improvement in group profit before tax amounted to A$199.8 million (US$145 million). AusPost noted that this was underscored by asset sales and revaluations, as well as happy moves in bond rates. E-commerce is expected to be more subdued in the second half of the year, while letter losses will continue, contributing to an overall loss over the next six months. AusPost nevertheless predicts a “modest profit” while being aware of the continued uncertainty of Covid-19 and the pressures facing customers.
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Parcels and services revenue increased by nearly A$464.5 million (US$337.1 million), representing an increase of 13.6%, to a total of $3.87 billion Australian dollars (2.8 billion US dollars). The increase was believed to be the result of the Covid-19 Delta outbreak across New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria in Australia, which has quarantined 15 million people.
However, the group’s letter revenue of A$935 million (US$678 million) was down 1.2% from a year ago as letter volumes fell 0.7%, despite the important 2021 census mailout. The continued structural decline in letter volumes and increased delivery points for this service resulted in losses of A$69.9 million (US$50.7 million) for the semester.
During this period, the company’s operating costs have increased by 13.2% since last year, reflecting volume increases and network constraints related to Covid-19 which the group expects to continue over the course of the year. of the 2023 financial year. Group expenses increased by 10.2%, due to the additional costs incurred. as the organization overcame pandemic-related network constraints, as well as limited domestic and global airlift capacity. The company realized savings through business efficiency programs implemented across the organization, including head office support costs of A$17.1 million (US$12.4 million).
AusPost’s capital investment also increased over the period by A$28.4 million (US$20.4 million) from a year ago to A$217.8 million. (158 million US dollars). This is part of the AU$400 million (US$287 million) investment that has been committed to new parcel facilities, fleet and technology by mid-2022 to help meet demand. growing service. In total, this brought the total investment committed to approximately A$1 billion (US$725 million) over three years. The company has also committed an additional AU$20 million (US$14 million) to upgrade systems to cloud-based solutions over the next year to improve parcel scanning and tracking. on the network.
Australia Post also secured new corporate agreements during the period, for approximately 30,000 award-winning employees, with agreements offering a guaranteed 9% pay rise over the next three years for Australia staff. Post, while maintaining the main existing terms of employment.
Paul Graham, Group CEO and Managing Director, said: “Like many businesses across the country, we have faced unprecedented challenges over the past year, but the ability of our people to adapting to the current challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic has been nothing short of remarkable. Together, we have worked tirelessly to manage the health and well-being of our people, with isolation rules and travel restrictions in different states and territories, all bringing different challenges – while our people have remained resilient. and delivered for our communities.
“I want to thank all of our employees for their spirit and willingness to do the job for our customers. This is a credit to all of our team members in processing, delivery, customer service, our post offices (including authorized post offices) as well as our contractor partners.
“Our retail network of over 4,300 post offices continues to provide essential government and financial services, particularly in rural and remote parts of Australia, where Bank@Post remains an invaluable service to communities. We had 112,000,000 visits to our corporate and licensed post offices across the country in the first half, with 20,000,000 visits in December alone.