Tuesday 4 November 2008

Royal Mail Chairman has had enough

Hellmail had a very good article here about the very strong likelihood of the Pensions Service card account {POCA} being transfered to the supermarkets.

As they say the likely date for an announcement, along with many many many other u-turns,bad results, borrowing figures etc is tomorrow. With news of the USA election and Glenrothes it will be another "Good day to bury bad news"

What prompts me to believe that Hellmail is right about the Post Office losing its core business is the resignation of the Chairman of Royal Mail, Allan Leighton, who steps down in March 09. He was charged with brining the Royal Mail group into profit by 2011 and has controversially, but partially, succeeded,with results for 2008 showing operating profits of £177 million and is at least mostly on target half way through the program.

However with some 20% of revenue being wiped off the Post Office if the Card account goes elsewhere this task would be almost impossible.

{the government apparently begged him to stay until a successor could be found but their overtures to potential replacements, reportedly including Phillip Hammond of Sainsburys have so far been unsuccessful.}
More on the politics and the seemingly faulty data that HMG has been using when the announcement is made


JPT said...

Wow! Well done Allan Leigthon!
He's presided over Royal Mail at the time that internet shopping has exploded and he's managed to squeeze a slight profit out of the business at a time when business has literally been booming.
I know what I'm talking about because I work for Royal Mail and while senior management continually talk of 'traffic being down' postal workers on the front line have never seen so much mail - particularly internet stuff that just didnt exist ten years or so ago.
At this boom time the company have made money pretty much by cutting jobs and vastly increasing the workload of those that remain - ask a postman!

Bill Quango MP said...

I did. They agree with you.
I asked some today in fact and they told me that the new proposals that come in on the 10th November will almost certainly result in 1st class no longer being viable as next day delivery.
Is this true? How does Royal Mail get round its remit if it is?

roym said...

Clearly this govt wants to wind down the PO and get it (and its pensions deficit?) off the books. space is needed for UK megabank inc! cant see the next lot altering course on this either.

Old BE said...

Leighton has made the Mail profitable by increasing prices and cutting service. My local postman comes about twice or three times a week. Not so long ago there were two deliveries A DAY.

At work we get the post at random times.

It's so depressing.

Bill Quango MP said...

To be fair to Leighton its largely the fault of our incredibly early mails deregulation.

If Royal Mail charge a company 10p to deliver an item. It costs 5p and they make 5p.
La Poste comes and says it will do it for 9p.
They actually pay Royal mail to deliver it and are charged 5p for the service and pocket the 4p.

Royal Mail wants the business so it goes to the customer and says it will do it for 8p.
Under the regulator it has to pass this price cut onto its rivals.
So now La Poste says it will deliver for 7p, and Royal Mail can now only charge 3p to La Poste for actually delivering it.
La Poste makes 3p and Royal Mail now loses 1p.

Fantastic business model...for Other mail carriers.
And just to rub it in Royal Mail cannot operate in France. They don't even deregulate until 2013 now. And even they won't be nearly so foolish as we have been.

Old BE said...

I know that this isn't very free market of me, but I sometimes wonder whether certain "infrastructure" isn't better suited to monopoly..?

JPT said...

By bill quango mp

'on the 10th November will almost certainly result in 1st class no longer being viable as next day delivery.
Is this true? How does Royal Mail get round its remit if it is?'

First class has to be a viable next day service and Royal Mail cannot at the moment get around it's remit.

As for your second comment - we are certainly hamstrung by the regulator.

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