Feb 6, 2020

Royal Mail investors should worry about its ability to deliver

Royal Mail is not blind to the decline in its core business. Royal Mail reckons the underlying "e-substitution rate" - the pace at which people shift from letters to electronic communications - is roughly steady at about 8.5 per cent per year. Population and GDP growth both moderate that, which is why Royal Mail forecasts a shallower 4 per cent to 6 per cent medium-term decline in its UK letter volumes. In parcels, online shopping is a help rather than hindrance; growth is good in Royal Mail's international division. Down a third in the past year, Royal Mail's shares may still have further to fall.

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