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NZPost Announce Improved Half Year Performance

New Zealand Post Announce Improved Half Year Performance

New Zealand Post Group today announced an unaudited net profit after tax of $21.7 million for the six months to December 2003, compared with $19.6 million for the same period last year.

New Zealand Post Chief Executive John Allen said the result was ahead of expectation and included a strong performance from the International mail business and Kiwibank.

"Our International Mail business performed exceptionally well over the period largely driven by a significant 14 percent growth in international outbound packets and parcels. The period also saw positive growth in inbound bulk mail from Australia.

"This is a pleasing result which recognises the global nature of the markets we operate in and the need to support and develop overseas relationships in order to grow this part of our business.

"Kiwibank had another outstanding six months with more than 200,000 customers signed up as at December 31. Its remarkable growth continues to surpass expectations and it remains on track to return a profit in the next financial year."

New revenue from the International business, Kiwibank and Retail contributed to an operating revenue increase of $14 million for the six months to $523.8 million, compared to $509.9 million for the same period in 2002. Operating expenditure was $486.6 million as opposed to $470.6 million last year largely driven by wages, salary and inflationary increases.

The Board declared an interim dividend of $13 million for the six months to December 03, representing 60% of net profit after tax. This compares to $11.8 million for the same period last year.

"It has also been pleasing to see that our determined focus on unlocking the potential of our courier businesses has resulted in an improved performance from the Express and Logistics Group with increased revenue and good cost control," said Mr Allen.

"Our Letters business continued to face ongoing challenges of decreasing mail volumes with a 3.7 percent decrease on the previous year. However, despite a prediction that pressure on volumes will continue, we remain committed to growing direct mail volumes.

"The Retail Group had another sound performance, including continued success in delivering Kiwibank customer numbers. New PostShops were opened in Owairaka, Wakatipu and central Wellington. The success of the latest instalment of The Lord of the Rings stamp issue and the related coin programme also contributed to the Group's result." Mr Allen said that looking forward New Zealand Post will continue to operate in an increasingly challenging environment.

"To ensure we are best meeting our customers' needs, we will have an increased focus on finding opportunities to package and utilise the capabilities across the New Zealand Post Group," he said.

Mr Allen added that New Zealand Post was on track to meet its targets for the year ending 30 June 2004.

Financial Performance Six months - 31/12/2003 Six months - 31/12/2002 Twelve months 30/6/2003 Net Surplus $21.7m $19.6m $27.1m Operating revenue $523.7m $509.9m $975.1m Operating expenditure $486.6m $470.6m $921.0m Issued & paid-up capital $192.2 $192.2 $192.2 Shareholder's funds $338.0m $320.0m $320.3m

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