Royal Mail looking sorry for itself
Things haven't been going well at the Royal Mail for some time, so it is no surprise that they've just reported a fall in half-year profits. They're looking at companies like Amazon and TNT (now going by the name of Whistl) with some contempt right now.
Pre-tax profits for the six months to 28th September fell to £218m, from £233m in the same period last year. Obviously, there's still a load of money floating around, but a downward trend is still a downward trend.
Amazon's new delivery network is the thing the Royal Mail are most concerned about and said that "unfettered" competition posed a "potential material threat" to the Universal Service (that's the thing where the Royal Mail promise to deliver to every letterbox in the UK).
Whistl, it is thought, could knock £200m off the Royal Mail's revenue by 2018. With that, the Royal Mail want the government to reconsider the depth of their Universal Service obligations. Sounds a bit sulky from here.
Royal Mail boss Moya Greene said that it isn't all doom and gloom and that their performance is in line with expectations, "but as always," she added, "this depends on us delivering another great Christmas, for which we are fully prepared".
Of course, the thing hanging over the Royal Mail is the small matter of the company being privatised in 2013, with taxpayers losing out after the shares were suspiciously undervalued and a small number of people seemed to do very well out of it all.
Looks like things need to change at the Royal Mail, and sharpish.