Hongkong Post's record profit means Christmas postage rates will be frozen at last year's prices. The Post Office made $1.4 billion last year, largely from stamp collectors, even before taking into account the huge handover profits. Controller of Posts Aubrey Au Wai-ping said: 'It was decided to keep the rates this year the same as last year because of our good revenue. 'We decided to freeze the prices for local, air and surface mail for one year.' This means a Christmas card to Canada or Britain will still cost $3.10. Last posting dates for Christmas surface mail were announced last week, ranging from September 24 for Uganda to December 10 for China. Ms Au said surface mail was becoming less popular and was generally only used for parcels. A letter to Britain costs 50 cents more if sent airmail. Although Hongkong Post retains a virtual monopoly on all mail sent abroad, Ms Au admitted local couriers were making inroads. She said e-mail had little impact on conventional mail and predicted increased mail traffic this Christmas, compared with last December.