Royal Mail is having to rely on international business more and more as the number of letters they deliver has drastically declined.
Annual profits for the company jumped 25% in the last year thanks to overseas growth and an increase in parcel handling, offsetting weaker parts of the business. Revenue from GLS, the firm’s international delivery arm, grew 9% in the year to March 26, while the UK business shrank 2%. As a result, overall revenue jumped from £9.25billion to £9.78billion, while pre-tax profits rose from £267m to £335m.
However, the number of letters being delivered has declined over the last decade. That number has dipped by a further 6% this year. There are many reasons for this. All major utility companies now offer for customers to go paperless, and with so much done online these days, the need for a paper trail is lessening. We are sending fewer greetings cards as nation and emailing is taking over rather than writing a letter.
The rise in internet shopping has also meant that the number of parcels sent through Royal Mail has increased, rising 3% in the last 12 months to £3.3 billion and with a 50% market share.
Royal Mail has been at the cornerstone of the UK delivery business since 1516, and it would be a shame if it went into a decline. Moving with the times is key, and it seems that they are trying to do so, but are never going to be able to compete with the larger companies, or the smaller ones that offer a much more personal service. It remains to be seen if they can grow their international business to a level to sustain them and not rely on a dwindling letter delivery any longer.