What is the Royal Mail for?
Once upon a time, we couldn't manage without the Royal Mail. Then, everyone started using emails as their primary channel for correspondence, but at least the post was still needed for parcels - you can't email a huge box full of stuff.
However, the Royal Mail didn't bet on growing competition for parcel delivery and now they're warning everyone about a hit to their revenue expectations, like anyone is supposed to care.
It looks like the Royal Mail's post offices are the only useful thing left, if you see any inherent value of owning a load of buildings that old people can queue up in while moaning to each other.
UK Parcels revenue fell 1%, invariably down to the old-fashioned thinking that the Royal Mail still employ - their rivals, collectively, offer far more flexibility. So now, they have said they'll now have to control their costs and rely on money generated by letters sales to meet their full-year expectations. That probably means that they'll stick the price of stamps up again as letter volumes declined by 3%.
Chief executive Moya Greene said: "In the first three months of our financial year we have delivered low single digit revenue growth in line with our strategy. Trading has been characterised by a good performance in letters, with the decline in addressed letter volumes better than our expected range, but a weaker than expected performance in UK parcels, largely driven by the intensifying competitive environment in the account, consumer/SME and export channels."
"On costs, performance is better than expected. Given the increasing challenges we are facing in the UK parcels market, our parcels revenue for the year is likely to be lower than we had anticipated.
"However, through cost control measures and with continued good letters performance we expect to be able to offset the impact on profit such that our overall performance would remain in line with our expectations for the full year.
"Our parcels revenue will be dependent on our performance in the second half, which includes the Christmas trading period, and on no further weakening in our addressable UK parcels market."
There's going to be a lot of reviews into the Royal Mail by the Government, with particular interest in the ways state assets are sold, thanks to taxpayers getting stitched-up on the sale of the Royal Mail.
If it offers no value for money, and the only way they can make money is via letters which are in decline, and we're all utilising other parcel couriers, the question remains - what is the Royal Mail for?