Royal Mail’s profits soar ahead of privatisation

Suzie Neuwirth

ROYAL Mail’s profits surged 60 per cent this year, ahead of the government’s planned privatisation of the postal service.

The company today announced pre-tax profits of £324m for the year ended 31 March 2013, compared to £201m in 2012.

The firm, which the government hopes to sell off within the year, saw its revenues rise to £9.3bn from £8.8bn over the period.

“Parcels are a major contributor to group revenue, accounting for almost half. In UK Parcels, International and Letters, parcel revenue grew 13 per cent and letter revenue was up three per cent on a like-for-like basis,” said chief executive Moya Greene.

“Our position as the UK’s Universal Service Provider, alongside our strong brand, extensive networks and high quality of service, makes us well placed to benefit from our leading position in the parcels market.”

However, trade union Unite – which represents over 7,000 Royal Mail managers - warned the government against selling off the “family silver” to make a quick buck.

“Today’s rise in profits is down to the hard work of the workforce and the loyalty of Royal Mail customers who will face rising prices if the sell-off goes ahead,” said Unite national officer Ian Tonks.

“Privatising the Royal Mail to make a quick buck will deny the Treasury of a steady stream of income over the long-term and spell the end to the universal service that rural communities rely on.”