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Post Script

25 Mar 2019, 19:55 ... onomy.html

By Alex Brummer for the Daily Mail

17:50 EDT 22 Mar 2019, updated 05:47 EDT 23 Mar 2019

Post Script

The fall from grace of the Royal Mail is remarkable. The choice of former British Airways boss Keith Williams as the third chairman of the postal service in a year did not offer much comfort to investors, with the shares dropping a further 2.45 per cent in latest trading.

The stock halved in value over the last year and the forward dividend yield stands at 9.4 per cent – a sure sign of stress.

Chief executive Rico Back, brought in last year at great expense from the company's Continental logistics operation GLS, faces an uphill task.

There is recognition that the letter post and the burden of maintaining the universal postal service is never going to generate the revenues it once did. Snail-mail is a victim of the communications revolution.

As someone involved in a residential property sale at present, I am more than aware that all the contract documentation and advice now comes by secure email. That is true not just for Britain, but across borders too.

So what will Williams do? It is plainly too early to depose the chief executive especially one who knows about parcel services.

It is expected when the next capital markets presentation comes up in six weeks or so Back will set out a plan to put parcels first, focusing on Royal Mail's ability to reach postal codes that other delivery firms cannot.

It has the advantage of 12,000 post offices up and down the land, and sorting offices as drop-off and return centres for online traders and consumers.

But that would require a revolution in unhelpful opening hours.

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