SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's love of online shopping has helped Australia Post deliver a 17 percent jump in annual profit, buoyed by a technology once thought to spell the death knell for post offices.
Online sales have been a bright spot in an otherwise lacklustre Australian retail environment, with a local bank estimating Internet-based sales in the year to July 2012 rose 30 percent to A$14 billion ($14.4 billion).
Australia Post reported an overall net profit of A$281 million, and said its parcel division was running at peak levels throughout the year, a trend previously only seen during the hectic Christmas period.
Its traditional mail business, however, has been hit by the rise of Internet email and other electronic communications, posting a loss of A$148 million.
In contrast to Australia Post's bumper earnings, the U.S. Postal Service reported a $5.2 billion loss in just the April through June period. ($1 = 0.9759 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Pullin)