Royal Mail doubles its profits - as post offices close

PUBLISHED: 12:15 28 October 2008 | UPDATED: 14:47 20 April 2010

AN AXMINSTER town and district councillor has criticised the government for closing down local post offices – while the Royal Mail doubles its profits. Cllr John Jefferies, who has supported Millwey Rise sub-postmaster Terry Fisher in his fight to stay

AN AXMINSTER town and district councillor has criticised the government for closing down local post offices - while the Royal Mail doubles its profits.

Cllr John Jefferies, who has supported Millwey Rise sub-postmaster Terry Fisher in his fight to stay open, said the money made by Royal Mail was 'unrealistic' at such a time.

The nationalised mail business operating profit reached £177million in the six months to September - as many post offices in East Devon, including Millwey Rise Post Office, face the axe.

The Independent Conservative said: "Once again the small man at the bottom of the chain pays the price - there are a lot of innocent people getting hurt in this climate. It's unrealistic to be making such profits. It doesn't do anything to boost anybody's support for them.

"I have supported Terry's campaign and still do. He is an entrepreneur trying to make a living and serve a community and he gets this whacked back at him. Other people have come forward to help him - and it's all for nothing."

Referring to the Consignia fiasco, he argued the government needed to spend money more wisely and focus on the community.

"They need to get their priorities right," he said. "The philosophy in this country is 'if it works, let's break it. All the while the fabric of community is getting broken down.

"It's total greed. The Royal Mail spent millions to change its name and to paint post offices green. If they want to save money, they want to look at themselves at the top of the tree."

Mr Fisher did not wish to comment.

Royal Mail said it had reversed a lengthy period of losses in Post Office Limited, comparing it to a £7 million loss 12 months earlier.

Despite its recent turnaround, the Royal Mail said it still faced a number of challenges in an increasingly competitive market place and the government's review was necessary.

Chief executive Adam Crozier said: "The increase in our profitability that we are reporting today underlines the huge effort that has been made across the company to drive up quality of service, cut our costs and improve our current financial performance.

"However, we are also facing huge pressures with the Universal Postal Service still loss-making, competition intensifying further and the increasingly heavy costs of servicing the historic pension deficit.


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