Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

UK: Increased profit for Royal Mail despite decline in letter volumes

10:19 22 May 2014

Royal Mail today announced increased profits in its first set of results since last year

Royal Mail today announced increased profits in its first set of results since last year's flotation.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Royal Mail has announced an increase in annual profits after revenues growth from parcel deliveries more than offset a further decline in letter volumes.

shares

In its first set of results since its controversial £3.3billion stock market flotation in October, the company said operating profits after transformation costs were £430million in the year to March 30, against £403m a year earlier.

It said its letters performance was at the better end of expectations, with revenues down 2% to £4.6bn on a year earlier. Addressed letter volumes declined by 4% but the trend improved over the year due to stronger economic conditions and one-off impacts such as energy companies writing to customers about price rises.

Parcel revenues increased by 7% but in volume terms the 1bn items delivered in the period was flat compared with the previous financial year.

Chief executive Moya Greene said: “The competitive environment on the parcels side is more intense. We are taking steps to remain the leader in this growing market.”

As the “Universal Service” provider, Royal Mail is required to provide access to competitors such as TNT for final mile deliveries.

Ofcom is investigating a complaint from TNT over Royal Mail’s decision to change conditions and increase the prices it charges to deliver post collected and pre-sorted by its competitors.

Royal Mail believes an investigation into this complaint will lead to a long period of uncertainty around the prices it charges other postal operators.

Ms Greene called for “timely regulatory action” to prevent the impact of direct delivery competition from undermining the economics of the Universal Service.

She said: “TNT Post UK can cherry-pick easy-to-serve urban areas, delivering easy-to-handle post to homes less frequently than Royal Mail and to no defined quality standard.

“Royal Mail is required to deliver six days a week, overnight, throughout the whole country, to stringent quality standards and at a uniform, affordable tariff.

“Moreover, we are also required to deliver any items TNT Post UK does not consider economic to deliver itself. If TNT Post UK is successful in delivering its stated objectives, this could threaten the fundamental economics of the Universal Service.”

An Ofcom spokesman said: “We do not believe that there is presently a threat to the financial sustainability of the universal postal service.

“Ofcom keeps the market under constant close review, examining the future business plans of major operators. We have a duty to secure the Universal Service, and if we identify any future threat we have powers to step in to protect it.

“We would expect Royal Mail to take appropriate steps to respond to the challenge posed by competition, including improving efficiency.”

Royal Mail continues to expect UK-addressed letter market volumes to decline by 4% to 6% a year, although in the current period it will be helped by this month’s European and local elections and economic improvements.

Since 2003, more than 50,000 people have left the UK business, with 12,000 leaving in the last four years. In March, the company launched a consultation with unions on a proposal to achieve a net reduction of 1,300 roles.

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

David Brown, chief executive of Go-Ahead.

Bus and train operator Go-Ahead today reported increased underlying annual profits, helped by an improved performance from its rail business.

Artist's impression of the new KFC proposed for Stane Park, Stanway

KFC has been announced as the latest name to sign up for a proposed leisure park in Stanway.

Ipswich businesswoman Melissa Day who is raising funds for an educational project working in the tea plantations of Sri Lanka

Melissa is raising money to help the poor in Sri Lanka

Roger Buston, right, principal at Asher Prior Bates, and Adrian Livesley, managing partner of Birkett Long.

Essex law firm Birkett Long has expanded again with the addition of Colchester-based Asher Prior Bates – its sixth acquisition in as many years.

A branch of cash and carry chain Booker.

Cash and carry chain Booker has been given the green light by the competition watchdog for its £40million takeover of Londis and Budgens.

The first departure of the Port of Felixstowe's 31st daily rail freight service, to Birch Coppice.

The Port of Felixstowe today saw the launch of its 31st daily rail freight service.

Maria Peyman of Birketts with colleagues Katherine Shadbolt and Kitty Rosser.

Maria Peyman has joined the commercial litigation team at law firm Birketts as a senior associate.

Holiday parks group Park Resorts is to merge with rival operator Parkdean.

The UK’s biggest holiday park operator is to be created through a £960million merger deal involving Parkdean and Park Resorts.

Halfords has reported a fall in bike sales over the past two months.
Photo: Newscast/Mathew Growcoot

Halfords today reported a slump in bike sales over the last two months amid rainy weather and heavy discounting.

ASOS chief executive Nick Robertson, who is stepping down with immediate effect.

Online fashion retailer ASOS said today that its chief executive Nick Robertson is to step down with immediate effect from the helm of the company he founded 15 years ago.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages