Cape Town - The South African Post Office on Wednesday reported a profit for the sixth year in a row, according to Nick Buick, the CEO.
Presenting his last report before he is to leave the job, he announced a pre-tax trading profit of R379m for the 2009/2010 financial year.
Although the chief executive, Motshoanetsi Lefoko, admitted that the profits were less than last year's - they fell by 22% - she said that economic conditions were very harsh and that the organisation was very proud of the result.
Buick pointed out that the drop in the country's interest rates has harshly affected the Post Office's revenue. Interest income fell by R200m.
He also noted that profits actually rose before post-retirement medical benefits for employees were deducted. In fact he said they rose by 58%. But the medical aid costs amounted to R197m.
Buick also pointed out that the balance sheet was very strong. Net asset value continuing to improve - rising by 15% in the year.
"The strong balance sheet has put us up to invest and diversify our revenue in the future," he said.
Chief operating officer John Wentzel said that the outlook for next year "is not rosy".
"The challenges will continue into 2010/2011," he said, saying that the decline in mail services is also likely to continue.
But he said that the corporatisation of the PostBank will provide opportunities for investment.