It’s been a rocky year for Australia Post, with letter volumes falling another 9.7% in FY16, the largest 12-month decline.
But hiking the price of letters and longer mail delivery times helped hasten the decline in mail, and in August the government-owned business announced a $36 million full-year profit after tax for FY16, a $258 million turnaround on the previous year.
“Returning to profit is a pleasing result for our employees, post office operators and our other important stakeholders, and shows that Australia Post is on a more sustainable path for future growth,” CEO Ahmed Fahour said.
“The parcels business has performed well despite increased competition from overseas players. We have outperformed in difficult market conditions to post an 8% profit increase.”
That 8% saw the business’ profit increase to $314 million, and highlighted the value of the growing parcels market.
It appears the upward trend is continuing for the business following strong results after this month’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in the US and the lead-up to Christmas.
“Online shopping is continuing to gain popularity in Australia, with sales increasing 15.9 per cent in the six months to June 2016,” Australia Post’s e-commerce general manager Ben Franzi told The Australian.
“We are continuing to see strong growth. In the lead-up to Christmas, which is our busiest time of the year, we are processing more than one million parcels a day.”
Volumes have been bolstered by Australia Post’s freight-forwarding service ShopMate, which launched more than two years ago to take advantage of the $16 billion spent online each year by local shoppers, of which about 30% is sourced from international retailers.
Additional reporting by Simon Thomsen.
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