An Post to deliver profit this year after €44m loss in 2021

An Post expects to return to growth and profit this year after it recorded a near €44m loss in 2021.

he semi-state company published its annual report yesterday, which shows that revenue last year dipped 3pc to €890.6m. The loss included €11.6m of transformation costs.

Chief executive David McRedmond said the loss in 2021 reflected “the massive costs of geo-political forces” on the business, which continued to act in the “common good” to maintain services during the pandemic.

“While postal services in other countries stopped delivering when Covid drove staff absence, An Post delivered every route every day and kept almost every post office open throughout the pandemic,” he said.

“Our focus now post-pandemic is to move back into profitable growth,” he added. He said the An Post network is on track to grow revenues 5pc this year and become profitable again after two years of losses.

An Post chief financial officer Peter Quinn said the company will rebuild its cash reserves to support ongoing investment and to cope with future crises and events.

He acknowledged that inflation in energy costs, post-pandemic recovery coupled with new EU customs rules and Brexit, required the company to raise its prices.

The pandemic saw An Post hit to the tune of €50m in 2020 and again in 2021, on buying personal protective equipment, incurring replacement staff costs and the impact of “vastly reduced” post office transactions and a postponed price increase.

“The investments we made in An Post’s transformation over the past five years proved invaluable through the pandemic, and ensure a solid infrastructure for the years ahead,” said Mr Quinn.

The company had €680m in net assets at the end of 2021, compared with €368m in 2020. It said that its pension scheme is now one of the largest in the country, with assets of more than €4bn at the end of 2021 and a surplus of €499m.

The annual report shows that Mr McRedmond’s total remuneration last year was virtually unchanged at €318,000. His basic salary of €250,000 is capped under rules introduced more than a decade ago during the financial crisis.

The company noted that it collected €90m in customs charges last year on behalf of the State, an increase of €86m on 2020.

It said postal trade with Britain slumped 58pc last year as new regulations came into force. An Post said UK online retailers had inadequate information and support to deal with the new, complex rules.

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