THE Post Office has today published its first trading statement in its 370-year history following its split from the Royal Mail earlier this year.
The government owned business, which is the largest retailer in the country, became an independent business for the first time in April after its historic divorce from Royal Mail.
The company has today issued its first trading statement as a standalone business, reporting a nine per cent increase in operating profits from £56m to £61m for the six months ending 23 September.
The figures are flattered by a government subsidy the business receives, which increased by £13m to £103m for the half year.
In total, the Post Office is set to receive £1.34bn from the government until March 2015.
The business has pushed on with plans to become the so-called “Front Office of Government” since its split from Royal Mail, securing a seven year deal with DVLA to offer car tax discs and driving licence sales.
Turnover was also boosted to £501m up from £485m on the back of strong growth in its postage division.
This included an £8m item from sales of Team GB Gold Medal stamps during both the Olympic and Paralympic Games over the summer.
A spokesman said the firm hoped to release a full set of financial accounts in the future.
POST OFFICE FACT FILE
■ 99.7 per cent of the UK population is within three miles of a Post Office.
■ 11,799 branches are currently open and trading, making it the UK’s biggest retailer.
■ Receives 20m visits from customers at its stores every week.
■ Sixth largest telephone and broadband provider in the country.
■ Handles 15bn addressed items every year working with Royal Mail.