SYDNEY, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Australia Post has announced that in the first half 2023 financial year, its revenue was 4.69 billion Australian dollars (about 3.25 billion U.S. dollars), down 2.4 percent from the same period last year, which is largely driven by an ongoing decline in letter volumes.
Meanwhile, the group profit before tax plunged to 23.6 million Australian dollars (about 16.4 million U.S. dollars), seeing an 88.2 percent drop from 199.8 million Australian dollars (about 138.5 million U.S. dollars) for the six months up to Dec. 31, 2021 (1H22), according to its press release on Wednesday.
The national postal service provider regarded the shrinking profit "considerably lower than the prior corresponding period, largely the result of a record first-half letters loss of 189.7 million Australian dollars, compared to 69.9 million Australian dollars in 1H22."
According to Australia Post, letters revenue now makes up just 18.8 percent of the group's total revenue, down from 19.5 percent in 1H22.
In early January this year, Australia Post lifted the basic postage rate from 1.1 Australian dollars (about 0.76 U.S. dollars) to 1.2 Australian dollars (about 0.83 U.S. dollars). But the group said that this increase will only partially offset the substantial letters losses.
"Every year it's costing Australia Post more to deliver fewer letters. We know letters are in an unstoppable decline, thanks largely to digital communications, yet letter costs are rising due to the increasing number of delivery points we service every day," said Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Paul Graham.
The chief executive anticipated that annual volumes will decline further, with Australian households receiving less than one letter per week by the end of the decade.
"As flagged in our 2022 financial results, Australia Post will report a full-year loss this year for the first time since 2015," Graham added.