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An Post made €8m profit last year - and a 'large part' of it is due to the €1 stamp

The new, higher price brought in €60 million for An Post last year.

The higher price came into effect in April 2017.
The higher price came into effect in April 2017.
Image: An Post

AN POST RETURNED to profit last year having made a €12.4 million loss in 2016 – and a lot of the success is down to the new €1 postage stamp.

The price increase of 39% for a postage stamp – brought from 72 cent to €1 – was controversial when it was introduced last year. But An Post’s CEO today claimed that the increase brought in €60 million last year and helped the service make an operating profit of €8.4 million last year.

This puts revenue back at 2008 levels.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, David McRedmond said that the price increase was a “large part” of the financial turnaround.

It was an exceptional price increase. we had to do it due to the finances of the country.

StreetArtStamps 1. Fin DAC Source: An Post

He said that the price increase brought An Post in line with the EU average, which is €1.10, and that the increase did not turn many people off An Post’s services.

The fall resulting off from the price increase was ‘a lot less than people indicated
Customers stuck with An post – and they stuck with us because the quality of service, which has been invested in over the past decade, is first class.

Services

McRedmond also attributed the profit to the relaunch of An Post’s parcel businesses and falling costs.

The relaunch, which required negotiations with the Communications Workers Union, now sees parcels delivered on Saturdays and later at night. Volumes in the parcel area are up 30%, according to McRedmond.

It’s all about re-positioning the business for the long term and for the future.

An Post has worked to increase its share of the e-commerce business, he said, by working with companies like Zara, Amazon and Boohoo on deliveries.

Post Offices Customers stuck with An Post due to its high-quality service, its CEO said. Source: Graham Hughes

We’re getting more and more of them every day because they realise we’re the people who deliver everywhere in Ireland and we actually have the highest quality of business.

Post office closures

McRedmond said that An Post is about to announce a “breakthrough agreement” with the postmasters union following threats of post office closures across the country. In the past 25 years, close to 800 post offices have been shut down across the country.

The agreement will see €50 million invested in the future of the network.

1922 Postmasters protest_90518311 The Irish Postmasters’ Union called on the government last year to secure the future of the post office network. Source: Leah Farrell

As a result, An Post does not envision any compulsory closures, McRedmond said.

We are going to guarantee that everybody is within 15km of a post office, that a community of over 5,000 people has a post office. We are going to completely refurbish all of the post offices and we are going to do a very wide range of new services.

Government contract

Today, the €51m social welfare contract between the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty and An Post was renewed. The contract allows An Post provide pensions, child benefit and other social welfare payments in cash at post offices.

Last year’s contract amounted to 33.6 million payments.

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