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Despite a 42% price hike for letters, Australia Post says it still won't be profitable

Photo: Don Arnold/Getty Images

The cost of posting a letter in Australia jumped 42% today to $1 as the national postal service attempts to stem the losses from its declining mail service.

The price rise from 70 cents also comes with a two-tier system and it will now take up to six business days to deliver mail.

If you’re hoping to get your letter to where in needs to be within four days, then the postage is $1.50 – an extra 50 cents for priority mail sticker.

A 7.3% drop in the number of letters posted last financial year cost Australia Post $381 million.

The booming parcel service made up some of the losses, but the service still posted a full year loss of $222 million for the first time in more than 30 years on revenue of $6.37 billion.

Concession stamps at 60 cents for 5.7 million eligible Australians, and the 65 cents price seasonal greeting cards also stays. Together they account for nearly half of all mail sent annually.

Australia Post argues that the rate remains one of the lowest in the developed world.

The company said that despite the increase, the mail business will remain unprofitable and it expects mail volumes to continue to decline, especially as the service’s major user, business, continues to push customers towards the electronic delivery of bills and statements in a bid to cut costs.

As part of plans to reduce the losses, the business plans to cut 1,900 jobs over the next three years, mainly from voluntary redundancies.

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