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Post Office profits down £8m on year

The Post Office made an operating profit of £53 million in the first half of the financial year, £8m down on a year ago, new figures have shown.

Revenue fell by £21m to £604m, including a £9m decline from Government services.

The Post Office, which is independent of the recently privatised Royal Mail, said its operating costs had fallen by £15m to £422m, mainly due to lower sales volumes.

Chief executive Paula Vennells said: "Like many high street retailers, this has been a challenging six months for the Post Office but we are cautiously optimistic that the economic climate is improving and we are well positioned to take advantage of the increased levels of consumer confidence."

Personal finance revenue increased by 23% driven by growth in savings products, while financial services revenue increased to £139m.

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