Flag referendum didn't help NZ Post profits

Flag referendum didn't help NZ Post profits

New Zealand Post made an after-tax profit of $141 million, mostly thanks to Kiwibank - despite 10 million postal ballots in the flag referendum.

Profit for the year ended June 2016 was down $2m (1.4 percent), with revenue down 6.6 percent to $1.485 billion but matched by a 6.6 percent drop in expenditure to $1.335b.

It returned a $5m dividend to shareholders.

The number of letters dropped around 8 percent, but there was growth in parcel volumes and revenue, up 6.4 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.

NZ Post chief executive Brian Roche says excluding one-offs, the postal services business made a small loss though the company's making investments in processing and delivery technology.

Mr Roche says most of the company's profit came from Kiwibank, which "had a good first half performance, however this was not matched in the second six months".

"The profit is largely due to Kiwibank and the proceeds from the sale of New Zealand Post's Australian-based subsidiary Converga to Canon Australia."

The Kiwibank group, which includes savings, insurance and investment products, saw profit fall 0.8 percent to $131 million in the latest financial year, with the banking operation providing $124m of that total.

"The flat result reflected the challenging environment following global uncertainty and increased funding costs for banks," said chief executive Paul Brock. 

In April, NZ Post received an indicative offer from the NZ Super Fund and ACC to buy 45 percent of Kiwibank. The offer was based on valuing Kiwibank at $1.1 billion, meaning NZ Post would get $495 million.

Mr Roche says due diligence has been done on that offer and NZ Post is "now actively engaged with the parties to reach a timely conclusion of this transaction".

The company says it's still focusing on moving its core business to parcel delivery.