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More post jobs go after £120m loss

The Royal Mail has signalled fresh job losses after reporting a £120 million loss in its letters and parcels business following a huge slump in the number of people sending post.

The daily postbag has fallen from 80 million five years ago to 62 million, a decline of 20%, with further reductions of 5% a year predicted.

Chief executive Moya Greene said the average person was spending just £18 a year on postage, highlighting the rise in texts, which now make up 50% of personal messaging, and emails.

Around 65,000 full and part-time workers have left the business since 2002, including 5,500 in the past year, while 12 mail centres have closed and a further 16 are set to shut.

The letters and parcels business is now losing £2 million a week, with losses for the 2010/11 financial year totalling £120 million - the worst for seven years - compared with a £20 million profit in the previous year.

The Royal Mail Group made an operating profit of £39 million, down from £180 million, with profits at the Post Office arm of the business declining from £33 million to £21 million as a result of lower revenues.

Ms Greene said the Royal Mail was in the middle of "very important" change, predicting further mail centre closures and job losses because of the decline in its business.

"With the decline in our volumes, we are going to be a smaller company in the future than we are today," she said, although she declined to put a figure on how many postal workers will be made redundant.

Ms Greene launched a new attack on the regulatory regime the Royal Mail has to operate under, saying it was a "stranglehold" on the business and calling for a less "punitive" system to be introduced by the Government.

Ms Greene, who moved from Canada to take over from previous chief executive Adam Crozier almost a year ago, said Royal Mail had been forced to transfer £1 billion of revenue to its competitors because of the regulatory regime it was forced to operate under. The organisation lost 2.5p for every letter it delivered for rival firms such as TNT and UK Mail, she said.


From Belfast Telegraph