Rating agency puts Royal Mail above its rivals

Suzie Neuwirth
ROYAL Mail has been given a better financial health rating than any other post or parcels companies in the world, boding well for the government’s planned flotation of the postal service in the coming weeks.

Independent US rating company Rapid Ratings said that Royal Mail had “changed dramatically” in the past two years, ranking it above firms such as Deutsche Post DHL and Austria Post, reported the Financial Times yesterday. Royal Mail got a rating of 86 out of 100, up from 36 two years ago.

The firm was assessed on sales performance, working capital efficiency, cost structure efficiency, debt service management and overall profitability.

Austria Post was rated 85, Deutsche Post DHL and Singapore Post were rated 79 and America’s FedEx was rated 74. Royal Mail did not have a copy of the rating assessment and Rapid Ratings was not immediately available for comment.

Meanwhile on Friday, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents the majority of Royal Mail employees, gave formal notice of its intention to ballot members for strike action.

Ballot papers will go out on Friday, with the result announced on Wednesday, 16 October.

If there is a yes vote, the earliest the strike could take place would be 23 October. The dispute is over pay, pensions and the impact of privatisation on job security.

Royal Mail said it was “very disappointed” that the CWU would be holding a ballot to strike.

Spread betting firm IG has already launched a grey market on Royal Mail’s valuation, with early trades implying the firm will have a market cap of around £2.88bn when it floats, leaving it just outside the FTSE 100.

At least 41 per cent of Royal Mail’s shares will be floated on the London Stock Exchange, with a further 10 per cent distributed to postal workers.