Royal Mail profits soar but sales are sliding
Friday 21 May 2010
Royal Mail's profits shot up by 26 per cent last year, the company revealed yesterday, as the Government confirmed plans to part-privatise the group.
Operating profits soared to £404m despite steadily falling mail volumes and last autumn's strikes, thanks to cost-cutting measures which included 8,000 voluntary job cuts. But revenues dropped for the first time in a decade – by £200m to £9.4bn – as the postal operator handled 13 million fewer letters than five years ago. And three-quarters of the planned £2bn investment programme has now been spent.
Royal Mail's chairman, Donald Brydon, said: "These are good results against a backdrop of harsh economic conditions and the relentless reduction in the number of letters sent by customers, not just in the UK but around the world."
But he acknowledged that "huge challenges" remain, not least a yawning pension deficit, which is expected to be several times the £3.4bn estimate from 2006.
Plans for "an injection of private capital" into Royal Mail were included in yesterday's extended coalition agreement from the Conservative-Liberal government. But the statement set out no clear timetable for the scheme, and a similar plan was abandoned by the previous government in the face of stiff backbench opposition.
The new proposal will stir up further trouble with the Communication Workers' Union, which took industrial action last year. Billy Hayes, the trade union's general secretary, said: "This is old politics wrapped in new language. The British public has consistently rejected the privatisation of Royal Mail. The move to regurgitate failed policies will be deeply unpopular."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 Comfortable in their own skin
- 3 Japanese plant experts produce 10,000 lettuce heads a day in LED-lit indoor farm
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
Israel-Gaza conflict: Death toll tops 125 after overnight raids as Operation Protective Edge continues
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to streets of London, Paris and New York in wave of protests
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...