Australia Post breaks a record and commits to the ongoing carriage of perishable goods.
Group revenue, driven by e-commerce demand, was $8.27 billion, up 10.3 per cent.
Group profit before tax $100.7 million, up 87.7 per cent from $53.6 million.
The national courier invested $450 million including network upgrades, expansion, fleet and an enterprise agreement to provide workforce security for the next three years.
Australia Post continues to grow profitably with a $47.1 million increase in profit before tax despite managing through disruptions to network operations, additional resources to support lockdowns, processing unprecedented parcel volumes and significantly reduced transport capacity.
The overall result was however tempered by the continued decline in addressed letter volumes – down 11.6 per cent – leading to a fall in letters revenue of $202 million.
The business remained vigilant in reducing costs where possible, with head office support costs down by $16.8 million (1.5 per cent) year on year.
Australia Post Acting Group Chief Executive Office and Managing Director Rodney Boys said the result highlighted the crucial role Australia Post has played during a challenging time and was testament to the hard work of its people across the network.
“This strong result rests with the hard work of our people, who have continued to deliver everyday through the challenges of a pandemic and numerous lockdowns,” said Boys.
“It is fitting that we recognise our people through the positive vote for the new Enterprise Agreement which preserves existing terms and conditions while delivering a three per cent pay rise for each of the next three years, for over 31,000 people across the deliveries, Post Office Network, customer services and office teams.
“The strength of eCommerce – up 31.8 per cent as Australians took to online shopping in record numbers – has supported the result, as did the temporary regulatory changes which allowed us to meet the significant parcel demand and ongoing mail delivery.
“Our Post Office Network performed strongly, and despite challenging times, we kept 99 per cent of our post offices open, allowing people to access important services, including Bank@Post – where we also signed landmark extensions with CBA and NAB for a further ten years.
“We have accelerated our investment program with $450 million invested last year in our delivery network, including in processing facilities, our last mile delivery fleet, electric vehicles and expanding our Parcel Lockers footprint, increasing delivery options for consumers and further significant projects to be completed in the year ahead.”
Australia Post also returned dividends to the government of $46.2 million.
The courier has also announced a long-term commitment to shipping perishable goods across Australia, as it continues to support small businesses who are experiencing a boom in demand.
Over the past few months Australia Post has conducted a thorough review of the industry and consulted with customers who are small business food producers, on the support required to continue shipping perishable goods across the country.
The review also covered consultation with key industry bodies and experts, and Australia Post will update relevant regulators of the outcomes.
“We understand it’s critical for businesses to meet growing consumer demands for home delivered food and groceries, and Australia Post remains fully committed to supporting both our customers and consumers with the ongoing carriage of food through our network,” said Boys.
“We recognise and apologise for the uncertainty felt by some customers as this review took place. The transportation of food in Australia is complex and highly-regulated and we have moved as quickly as possible to provide a clear promise to our customers that there will be no change to how we support them.
“Our customers will be aware that for some types of food, our ambient temperature network will not always be suitable. We continue to encourage our customers to consider using appropriately insulated packaging and additional temperature control devices to help maintain freshness and help ensure the food is in a good condition when it arrives.
“I would like to thank the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson for working with Australia Post and his assistance in helping us reach this outcome in delivering a long-term, sustainable solution to support this growing eCommerce industry.”