Jul 17, 2018

Opening Quote: Royal Mail could do with a second referendum

Royal Mail's new boss Rico Back may be disappointed that prime minister Theresa May has ruled out a second referendum on Brexit under "Any circumstances." His addressed letter volumes, without the boost of political and election mailings, decreased by 6 per cent in the last quarter, reducing letter revenues by 7 per cent - the very bottom end of analyst estimates. Stripping out the effect of UK elections in the prior period, total letter revenue was down by less than 7 per cent: more like 5 per cent. Still, overall, Royal Mail's combined letter and parcel revenue was down 1 per cent as the parcel uplift could not make up for the relentless letter revenue decline. Thankfully, Mr Back's old GLS logistics division continued to perform strongly, with volumes up 10 per cent and revenue up 11 per cent. Across its own retail property portfolio, the combined impact of retailers going into administration and seeking CVAs had risen to 1.6 per cent of total group contracted rent, up from 1 per cent in May. As a result, retail occupancy now stands at 96.4 per cent.

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