SMP welcomes Royal Mail commitment to letters

SMP welcomes Royal Mail commitment to letters

SMP Chair Judith Donovan CBE has welcomed Royal Mail’s ongoing commitment to letters, as outlined in the company’s annual statement on Wednesday.

Announcing Royal Mail’s full year results, Group Chief Executive Officer Rico Back said that whilst addressed letters declined in 18-19 at a rate of around 8%, the company remained committed to letters and expected the market to rally from 2020-21 as GDP recovered and the effect of GDPR diminished.

Letters would continue to be important to Royal Mail and the UK, said Mr Back. After Germany, the UK currently had the most letters per capita (151 per year) in Europe and despite the current decline, five years down the line would still see significant volumes of letters in the mailbag.

Judith said: “It is pleasing to note Royal Mail’s ongoing commitment to letters and we welcome the forecast that the UK addressed letter volume declines will return to a medium-term rate of four-six per cent per annum from 2020-21.

“Despite this, letters still account for 51% of Royal Mail’s UK revenue and have many advantages over digital alternatives. For businesses, around one third of advertising mail generates a commercial action; for consumers, letters have a 35% better recall rate compared with social media.

“The current market remains challenging but is undoubtedly affected by outside factors beyond our control, such as GDPR and Brexit, and it is encouraging to hear Royal Mail reiterate its commitment to the letters side of the business.”

In Wednesday’s statement, Mr Back revealed a major transformation plan for Royal Mail, with an increased focus on improved service, efficiency and productivity, supported by digitally enabled work tools to enhance productivity. Around £18m would be invested into the business, largely to enhance customer service, digital initiatives and on more productive ways of working.

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