Brian Roche to step down as NZ Post CEO

The company will embark on a search to replace the chief executive.

Brian Roche will step down as chief executive of New Zealand Post in April 2017, having led the state-owned postal service's drive to adjust to shrinking mail volumes with a combination of cost cuts, asset sales, modernisation and expansion of new businesses.

The Wellington-based company will embark on a chief executive search to replace Mr Roche, who has held the position since January 2010, chairman Sir Michael Cullen said. The former senior partner at PrivewaterhouseCoopers said he was retiring from fulltime executive positions to pursue other business interests.

NZ Post and its banking subsidiary Kiwibank both reported reduced profits in the 12 months ended June 30, with NZ Post's result bolstered by one-off benefits from an Australian asset sale and Kiwibank experiencing a difficult second-half to the financial year.

The Kiwibank group, which includes savings, insurance and investment products, saw profit fall 0.8% to $131 million while NZ Post reported net profit after tax of $141 million for the year the June 30, down 1.4%, a result Roche described as "confirming a steady year-on-year financial performance for the group overall."

A major contributor to the profit result was the $43 million net proceeds from the sale of NZ Post's Converga subsidiary in Australia, for $A75 million, generating a gain of $NZ43 million, and freeing up capital funds for investment.

During Mr Roche's tenure, "costs have been lowered across the group and the business re-sized to recognise the reality of the decline in letters and the growth in parcel volumes and financial service," Sir Michael said in the statement. "A programme of divestment of assets has also allowed the Group to focus on its core businesses."

At the same time, NZ Post has invested in modernising its parcel and mail processing operations, the introduction of electric delivery vehicle, while Kiwibank acquired Gareth Morgan Investments (GMI) and developed a new core banking system.

Sir Michael said Mr Roche was also instrumental in developing a new ownership structure for the group, which will see it divest 45% of its holding in the Kiwibank group to the NZ Superannuation Fund and the Accident Compensation Corp, which will take 25% and 20% respectively.

(BusinessDesk)

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