Royal Mail has blamed strike action for helping send it slumping to a full-year loss of more than £1bn.
The group’s owner, International Distributions Services (IDS), revealed Royal Mail swung to an operating loss of £1.04bn for the year to March 26, against earnings of £250m the previous year.
On an underlying basis, Royal Mail saw operating losses of £419m, against profits of £416m the previous year.
IDS said the losses were due to crippling industrial action, while it also booked a £539m writedown on the value of Royal Mail due to the impact of strikes and the “current risk backdrop”.
However, union bosses say the losses are Royal Mail’s own making due to “gross mismanagement”.
IDS overall posted a £748m annual operating loss, against profits of £577m the previous year, but IDS said it was targeting a return to underlying earnings over 2023-24.
The figures come after Royal Mail last month agreed a deal with the Communication Workers Union (CWU).
But it faces further turbulence with chief executive Simon Thompson recently announcing he will step down by the end of the year and news last week that Royal Mail is being investigated for failing to meet its delivery targets in the past year.
Commenting on Royal Mail’s announcement of serious financial losses, a CWU spokesperson said: “There is no doubt that Royal Mail Group faces a very serious financial situation.
“It is one of its own making due to gross mismanagement, but it is serious nonetheless.
“We now need to see actions rather than words.
“The toxic environment created by a senior management team that has gone to war with its own workforce needs to end immediately.
“In recent weeks, there has been no let up on the culture of imposition, disregard for quality of service and the destruction of the service to the public.
“Royal Mail Group is at a crossroads. It cannot and will not survive without taking the workforce with it through this period.“
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