With the informed findings of the Colmar Brunton research conducted in July 2018 the Mint had an expectation that the demand for circulating coin would continue to decline but at a slower pace, as segments of the population resisted the change to a cashless society. This was in fact not the case. Circulating coin revenue fell by 32 per cent against the previous year resulting in $26 million gross in seigniorage—47 per cent below budget. Updated research conducted in 2019 and indications of forward orders from the banks, suggests that the plateauing effect expected in the prior 12 months may instead occur in the 2019–20 financial year.
In the absence of the major events of 2017–18 such as the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the commercial business revenue fell by 21 per cent compared to the prior year and was below budget by 12 per cent. One customer reduced a custom minted order by nearly $7 million and given it was at a relatively low gross margin, the impact on the overall net earnings was relatively minimal. Through effective cost management, facilitated by the continuing focus on lean continuous improvement, the Mint exceeded its budget profit before tax by 3 per cent with a result of $11.9 million.
Even though these results were below budget expectations the Mint still managed to achieve a combined net surplus of $41 million, with a return on net assets of 31 per cent.
Visitor numbers to the Mint exceeded the 2017–18 year by 9 per cent with a record 355 135 visitors, of which 66 091 were students. With a visitor satisfaction rating of 98 per cent, it was very pleasing that the Mint was the recipient of the Visitor Experience and Cultural Tourism awards at the 2018 Canberra Region Tourism Awards.
The Mint has continued its focus on building the foundation to create a sustainable future. This focus is reflected in ongoing investment in:
- systemising innovation so that innovation is part of the ‘DNA’ of the Mint
- further embedding LEAN into the Mint’s culture
- building on the direct customer attraction program
- automating where viable
- implementing of the investment products strategy
- increasing the collector customer base
- consolidating and refining systems integration, including the risk management program
Many of the commercial programs presented in the Highlights and Achievements section of the report demonstrate the very creative work that is a feature of the Mint’s commercial activities. Delivery of exceptional programs, such as Australia’s Dollar Discovery and the Moon Landing coins as well as the Invictus Games medals, have not only enabled the Mint to achieve a net promotor score of 62, they have also enhanced the Mint’s reputation as being one of the best quality and innovative Mints in the world.
On behalf of the Senior Management team and the Advisory Board it’s my privilege to again thank all the extraordinary staff at the Mint, who continue to find ways of making things happen, often in challenging environments, and through whose dedication and commitment to improving efficiency and keeping each other safe and secure, make the Mint such an amazing and enjoyable place to work.
To the Advisory Board, the Audit Committee, ANAO and Treasury team, thank you for your support and advice, and in particular to the Chairs of the Board and the Audit Committee, thank you for your encouragement and counsel.
To my colleagues in the Senior Management team, while this year’s results were perhaps below our expectations, we continued to find ways of driving performance improvement. To you and my enthusiastic Executive Assistant thank you for your support and advice and for helping create the environment that has enabled the Mint to build a better foundation.