Asia Business

Australia Post's half-yearly profit down 56%

Australia Post Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Australia Post says it has been carefully managing a decline in its letter volumes for the past seven years

Australia Post has reported a 56% fall in its half-year profit from a year earlier, and has forecast its first full-year loss in more than 30 years.

The government-owned firm said on Monday its after-tax profit for the six months to 31 December was A$98m Australian dollars ($76.7m; £49.9m).

The fall in profit was driven by widening losses in its letter business.

Managing director Ahmed Fahour said urgent regulatory reform of the rules around its letter services was needed.

Australia Post is seeking government approval to introduce a two-speed mail delivery service within its normal mail delivery timetable.

"The immediate challenge for our business is clear," Mr Fahour said.

"We have been carefully managing the real decline in our letter volumes for the past seven years.

"But we have now reached a tipping point where we can no longer manage that decline, while also maintaining our nationwide networks, service reliability and profitability," he said.

The firm reported a loss of A$151m its letters business for the period - which was 57% worse than last year's loss.

Revenue from parcel services was up 4% for the period compared to a year earlier, but the firm forecast that losses in its letter business would likely overwhelm any boost from its seasonally quieter parcel business in the coming months.

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