Britain’s Royal Mail has suffered a massive slump in profits as people sent fewer letter and parcels and as it spend money on modernising.
The UK government wants to part privatise the service, but can only do that when its finances are stabilised – which will follow debt write-offs that have to approved by the European Commission.
It would sell off the letters delivery business, while retaining ownership of the Post Office chain of high street retail outlets, which is profitable.
In the financial year to the end of March, Royal Mail processed 62 million letters and parcels each day, that is four percent fewer than the year before.
The net loss of 2.26 million euros a week was the largest in seven years.
The current total of 165,000 staff is down from around 210,000 five years ago and is set to fall further as more mail centres are closed.
Workers are threatening strike action over layoffs.
“Nobody should be surprised at these results,” said Dave Ward, the deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, who warned that strike action was inevitable if Royal Mail and the ministers pressed ahead with their plans.
“We are paying the price for the previous government decision to introduce competition in a way that has effectively set Royal Mail up to fail.”