Royal Mail Has More Than Doubled Its Profits

Pre-tax profits were £233 million for the six months to 29 September, up from £94 million a year earlier. Vince Cable’s day just got a whole lot tougher. Oh, and your Christmas might be ruined.

Royal Mail said a one-off windfall boosted overall pre-tax profits, but it’s really driven by growing revenue from its parcel business.

You can view the half-yearly report here. Paul Hackett / Reuters

This means, however, that Vince Cable’s job just got a lot trickier.

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

And that’s because a 60% stake in Royal Mail was sold on the London Stock Exchange last month.

Royal Mail was floated on the stock market last month at a valuation of £3.3 billion. Shares have flown up like a rocket since: it was valued at £5.3bn last night. These results mean shares jumped by over 5% in early trading to 563p per share.

The news breaks as MPs on the Business, Innovations and Skills gear up to ask Cable some tough questions today.

Among other things, they’re going to want to know why it wasn’t valued higher and whether the bankers behind the deal – Goldman Sachs and UBS – should receive £4 million in outstanding fees.

The Independent has a story alleging that it was fixed,

A new analysis of Royal Mail’s official share register by The Independent has found that Goldman Sachs offloaded around 4.5 million Royal Mail shares worth at least £25m between 31 October and 11 November – at the top of the market.

And at the same time, there’s the looming threat of strike action. On Radio 5 reporter Mickey Clarke said this morning:

The threat of strike action is always in the background - although it’s a plc the attitude of staff is that it’s still a publicly-run company and that won’t do

If that happens over Christmas…it’s ruined :(


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Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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