Five key dates in history of Royal Mail

SORTED: Royal Mail staff sorting the mail. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
SORTED: Royal Mail staff sorting the mail. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
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THE Royal Mail has undergone revolutionary changes in recent years as letter revenues continue to fall.

Here are five major stories that reflect these challenging times.

Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary.

Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary.


Today, the Government sold its final stake in the Royal Mail for just over £591m.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said the sale represented “the right step for the Royal Mail, its customers and the taxpayer”.


Royal Mail workers sorting the Christmas mail.

Royal Mail workers sorting the Christmas mail.

In July, Royal Mail revealed that it failed to grow sales in the first three months of its financial year as “challenging” trading continued to see letter revenues fall.

It said the number of letters delivered fell 5% and sales dropped 4% in the quarter to June 28 in a tough environment that continues to see email eat in to the traditional letter market. This figure excludes the impact of election mailings.


But its parcels unit saw sales by volume lift 3% and revenues rise 2% in the period, as recent cost cutting and other new initiatives took effect.


In 2014, a damning report claimed that taxpayers lost £1 billion when Ministers botched the sale of Royal Mail.

The Government underestimated the value of the business and was more worried about the sell-off failing than securing the best possible price, MPs found.

Their report was also critical of the advice given to Ministers by the Shareholder Executive - a government agency - and city firms.


Last year, Royal Mail also revealed that it would start delivering parcels and opening delivery offices on Sundays as part of a trial.

In June this year, a review was launched by the communications watchdog after the collapse of a rival letters service left the Royal Mail with no competitors in that market.

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