We continued to implement large-scale change this year, while staying true to our original purpose as the organisation that connects Australians to each other and the world.
This was another year of significant achievement amidst ongoing change for Australia Post, as we delivered on our twin objectives of providing an accessible, reliable nationwide community service, while remaining profitable.
Just like postal businesses around the world, the digital disruption of our traditional core business (particularly the declining use of letters) remains our primary challenge. To illustrate this, the amount of addressed letters sent in Australia this year was just 44.9 per cent of the volume that we handled back in 2007/08. Meanwhile, population growth has added an extra 1.7 million delivery points to our network over the past 11 years, so we are now servicing 12.1 million delivery points.
Importantly, over this period, we have been purposefully transforming Australia Post to seize new customer opportunities. With the growth of online shopping, we have become the nation’s dominant provider of business-to-consumer delivery services. Pleasingly, our domestic parcel revenue grew by 9.2 per cent, this year alone.
These large-scale, year-on-year changes in the composition of our core business, require continual operational and cultural change, and a vigilant focus on cost efficiency. I am incredibly proud of the way this transformation is being managed by our nationwide team.
Investing for the future
In total, we invested $423.9 million across our strategic projects, asset replacement and acquisitions in 2018/19. The majority of this capital was directed towards equipping our operational network to efficiently manage future growth in parcels driven by online shopping. This added network capacity is being augmented by investments in other new equipment and technology, such as NextGen scanners and electric delivery vehicles (eDVs), reflecting our commitment to safety, efficiency and improving the customer experience.
Our post offices provide vital, in-person access to a broad range of essential services in communities across Australia. So, we remain absolutely committed to maintaining post office outlets, as required under our CSO. However, we recognise that we will need to continue to add new financial and government services, as well as other transactional services, to sustain community-based post offices into the future.
The signing of new Bank@Post agreements with 74 financial institutions was a significant milestone this year, because it secured additional funding for investment in the post office network, including an important payment boost for our LPO partners.
The concept of carefully balancing our commercial performance with our social and environmental impacts is an ingrained feature of our business model. This Report reflects a responsible approach to conducting our business by reporting on our achievements in accordance with the Integrated Reporting <IR> framework; the GRI Standards Core option and the UN Global Compact.
In her first full financial year as our Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Christine Holgate has really made an impression on the business, including refreshing the composition of our senior executive team. I would especially like to acknowledge this largely new team for their contribution to our strategy and the fresh thinking that they have injected into our business this year.
I would also like to thank my fellow Directors, our many business partners and, of course, our wonderful nationwide team of people. You do a tremendous job serving Australians, in communities everywhere, every day – and, in doing so, you truly demonstrate that “everyone matters” to Australia Post.