After years of losses when it was the Postal Authority, the Israel Postal Company reported net profits for 2007 of NIS 40 million on Tuesday. Avi Hochman, the director-general of the for-profit government company, praised management and staffers for their achievements, saying, "This is an impressive success, according to any criterion, in view of the crisis of the past." In 2007, the company had gross income of NIS 1.8 billion. In the past, as a state authority, it lost hundreds of millions of shekels annually, forcing the government to make up the difference. In 2006, the then-authority lost NIS 19m. The business orientation of the new company, which was launched last year out of the authority, was responsible for the profits, Hochman said. It now offers many new services and provides existing services on a higher level, he said. As postal rates were last raised in November 1, the next annual report should show even higher profits, Hochman said. This was the case, he said, even though the company is bound to provide universal mailing services, including delivery to peripheral areas where there is little or no profit. The company's Postal Bank - with its 700 offices in postal branches around the country - would become a "growth engine" in the future, Hochman said. It brought in NIS 307m., or 18 percent, of company income last year, he said, adding that it must receive a commercial license soon to compete with the commercial banks. Last year, the Israel Postal Company invested large amounts of money in computerization and advanced technological developments to improve its services, Hochman said.