NZ Post reports $71m profit

New Zealand Post has recorded an after-tax profit of $71 million in the half-year to December 31.

The result is up 18.3 per cent on the same period in the previous year and the Government will receive an interim dividend of $2.5m from the state-owned enterprise.

NZ Post chief executive Brian Roche said the improved result could be largely attributed to a $32m reduction in spending that more than offset a $12m drop in revenue.

He said the steps taken to achieve the result were in line with NZ Post's strategy introduced in November.

"It's encouraging that the strategic decisions we made last year are already starting to yield results," Roche said.

"We will balance ongoing cost reduction with a strong focus on growing new and profitable revenue and developing new ways to serve customers and meet their changing demands."

NZ Post's plans for the next three to five years were focused on finding cheaper ways to deal with falling mail volumes, he said.

Plans were announced last year to axe up to 2000 jobs over four years.

Different modes of mail delivery would be trialled over the next six months in preparation for the start of mail to urban addresses being delivered on alternate days next year.

Roche said growing the parcels and logistics business was also a top priority with work underway to develop new opportunities from the growing e-commerce parcels market domestically and internationally.

Kiwibank continued to perform strongly in a competitive market, amid tight lending margins, he said.

Investment into Kiwibank's infrastructure would support profitable growth, which included offering new products such as insurance and fund management.

NZ Post also planned to reduce its property ownership, including owning fewer corporate Postshops, with more services hosted by local businesses.

The Dominion Post