Australia Post appears to be one of the few companies to have benefited from the coronavirus pandemic after reporting record growth in annual revenue.
According to the latest FY20 results released last week, group revenue grew by 7 per cent to $7,500 million, with before tax profits of $53.6 million.
Parcels revenue for the government business enterprise grew by $729 million in 2019-20, up 15 per cent from the previous year.
Domestic Australia Post-branded parcels rose 25 per cent to $2,456 million.
In the second half of the year parcel revenues were boosted by the continued growth of eCommerce as consumer demand grew as families adapted to lock down restrictions and more businesses went online as their physical stores hibernated.Australia Post
“In the second half of the year parcel revenues were boosted by the continued growth of eCommerce as consumer demand grew as families adapted to lock down restrictions and more businesses went online as their physical stores hibernated,” Australia Post said in a statement.
Its parcel processing facilities, including the latest to open in Brisbane last year, contributed$2.4 billion in eCommerce activity in the fourth quarter.
However revenue from letters has continued to fall, with a ten per cent decline, or $2 billion, decline compared to nine per cent the previous year, while network management during the pandemic cost $477 million.
International freight was down 16 per cent on last year but operation’s cross-border eCommerce business AP Global performed strongly with with revenue growth of $146 million.
Cuts to services unwarranted
Labor has seized on the results to say regulatory changes to Australia Post’s service delivery standards and postal service timeframes introduced by the government earlier this year were unwarranted.
The changes, announced in April, ushered in cuts to the postal service and enabled longer delivery times.
But CEO and Managing director Christine Holgate has defended the changes, saying Australia Post had to adapt to market changes caused by COVID-19.
While the growth in eCommerce has been a strong driver behind this year’s financial result, we have had to make changes to ensure our workforce and network can operate as efficiently and safely as possible.Christine Holgate
“The temporary regulatory relief provides us the opportunity to enable the posties to deliver more parcels in turn help sustain their roles and protect the viability of our post offices in a very challenging period,” she said in a statement.
“While the growth in eCommerce has been a strong driver behind this year’s financial result, we have had to make changes to ensure our workforce and network can operate as efficiently and safely as possible.
“The pandemic has also severely impacted our ability to deliver across the country ontime. We had to make temporary changes, including new parcel pop-up facilities and chartering planes for air freight, to continue to serve the country during what has been a very uncertain year.”
In a report to the senate Labor and the Greens say governments should not use COVID-19 as “opportunistic cover to cut services and implement pre-existing agendas” and calls for the regulations to be disallowed.
A disallowance motion will be dealt with in the Senate on October 6.
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