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Royal Mail goes from profit to loss as parcels overtake letters for the first time


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Royal Mail went from profit to loss in the first six months of 2020 compared to last year, despite an upturn in fortunes across its parcel arm as online shoppers stocked up on goods to get them through lockdown.

The company revealed a £20million group operating loss for the period, with the core postal arm seeing profits wiped away to an underlying operating loss of £129million. Its GLS parcels division recorded a £166million operating profit.

The £20million overall loss compares with profits of £61million at the same point a year ago, but the group today said it remained confident that its parcel arm would continue to bolster its bottom line.

That reassured investors and shares in the FTSE 250 group surged by 7% dsespite the wider stock market falling into the red.  

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How, in the age of Internet shopping, can this operation have been left behind? Its like someone in the housing game in the 90s remortgaging and losing that game

Some of it has to be the legacy of public ownership. They still need to deliver to all postcodes which must add some additional expense. 

Having said that their parcel delivery business should mean their ok for the future, I guess we will see less  of the postman and more of the delivery man.

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Some of it has to be the legacy of public ownership. They still need to deliver to all postcodes which must add some additional expense. 


The most expensive bit of any delivery service is the last mile. no one nut Royal Mail does the last mile for letters, as in plenty of places the last mile might only have 1 house, or be the last 10 miles, for 3 houses. If letters where costed the same as royal mail competitors as parcels, a 1st class letter would cost about £8 to low population centres, and maybe 20p in densely populated cities. 

But the Gov rules of sale mean RM must still do last mile for letters at a huge loss compared to the price of a stamp, which is a fixed coast regardless of UK destination (extra plane or boat to lots of Scottish islands.) 

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I can’t stand Royal Mail. I’ve had so many bad experiences of them being arrogant, unapproachable jobsworths.

A couple of weeks ago I went into my local newsagent to send something. The guy comes in to collect 3 or 4 sacks of parcels and the lady serving me says “oh you’re early”. He leaves with half the bags and she explains the Christmas rush has started. She puts the sticker on my parcel but as she goes to reach for the remaining 2 sacks, this tw*t grabs them both and just leaves the shop. She tries to say have you not got room for this one too?! (Recognising he’s being a complete pr*ck). He doesn’t even respond. 

I don’t doubt there are reasonable posties, but I’m afraid that is classic Royal Mail right there. You’re business is an inconvenience to them!


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