Australia Post records big revenue as parcel demands soar amid pandemic

CANBERRA, Feb 23: Australia Post, the nation’s postal service, has recorded hefty earnings in at least one division of its multifaceted empire, as demand for parcel deliveries soared during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government-owned business’ turnover for the final six months of 2021 was A$4.8 billion ($3 billion), a jump of 10.4 per cent on year-on-year figures.

Announcing the results on Wednesday, Australia Post Chief Executive Paul Graham said it was a “significant achievement given the ongoing disruptions to the business during the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Graham said one of the biggest challenges had been serving Australians who had had to isolate themselves while also managing a workforce that had to continue operating under the same restrictive regulations.

“Just like many businesses around the country, we have dealt with unprecedented challenges over the past year, but the ability of our people to adapt during ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic has been nothing short of remarkable.”

In one regard, however, the pandemic proved a financial windfall for Australia Post because the extended lockdowns of millions of people in the states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria generated unprecedented demand for parcel deliveries with many housebound customers relying on online shopping.

Australia Post subsequently earned A$3.87 billion as it handled a 13.6 per cent surge in its parcels and services division, the largest volume of parcels since the company was founded.

In contrast, revenue for its traditional letter division continued its downward trajectory in recent years.

Revenue for letters dipped by 1.2 per cent to A$935 million for the half, ending up with a loss of A$69.9 million.

That poor result came even after Australia Post handled a massive mail-out for the 2021 national Census.

A statement from Australia Post said its full-year results would be released in September when it expected to “post a modest profit while being cognisant of the ongoing uncertainty of Covid-19 and pressures facing customers”.