22 Feb 2016

First half profit increase for NZ Post

12:44 pm on 22 February 2016

New Zealand Post has reported an increased first half profit thanks to higher earnings from Kiwibank and an asset sale.

NZ Post logo.

Photo: RNZ

The state-owned postal operator made a net profit of $110 million in the six months ended December compared to $100m last year.

However, excluding the gain from the sale of an Australian business and other one-off costs, the underlying group profit was $74m, down 14 percent on a year earlier.

Kiwibank, which is fully owned by NZ Post, had a profit of $73m against last year's $72m.

The bank's lending was up 4.8 percent to $16.3bn, while deposits rose 5 percent from the previous six months to $14.4b. It reported a 40,000 rise in customers to 920,000.

NZ Post chief executive Brian Roche said letter volumes had fallen about 60 million items in the past year, and cost the group $20-30m a year.

"We will continue to make necessary changes so that the nationwide letters network runs sustainably, including pursuing further cost savings."

Mr Roche said the company would look to make greater use of automation and new technologies, and pursue a bigger share of the parcels market.

NZ Post paid the government an interim dividend of $2.5m.

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