Harare (New Ziana) – Second quarter revenue for Zimbabwe’s postal and courier sector declined by 2.1 percent to ZWL$69.4 million from ZWL$70.9 million in the previous quarter, due to Covid-19, the regulator, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has said.
In its latest report, Potraz said the pandemic hit the postal and courier sector hard, forcing a huge drop in volumes across all service categories.
On the other hand, inflationary pressures in the market pushed up operating costs by postal and courier operators by 13 percent to ZWL58.7 million from ZWL51.9 million in the first quarter of 2020.
“The pandemic exacerbated the substitution of paper communication by electronic methods,” Potraz noted.
“International courier volumes, which are a major source of income for postal and courier operators, declined significantly as people and businesses resorted to sending documents electronically.”
Potraz said there were also challenges in channelling items to and from several destinations due to lockdown policies in different countries.
However, postal and courier volumes are poised to improve in the coming quarters “as restrictions are eased globally and industry fully re-opens.”
It said the stabilisation of exchange rates on the local market was also expected to help the sector to recover from the Covid-19 slump.
“Given the apparent stabilization of the exchange rate that is emerging, there is optimism that the sector is poised for growth going into the future,” it said.
The Zimbabwe dollar continued to firm at Tuesday’s weekly foreign currency auction, gaining by 1.21 percent – the third weekly gain.
In the outlook, Potraz said operating cost containment remains crucial for operators to remain profitable especially for those services that are reporting reduced demand.