Post Office Annual Report 2016/17

The Post Office today (20 December 2017) publishes its Annual Report and Accounts which reveal a profit of £13m - the first time the business has recorded a profit in 16 years. 

There is strong demand on public funds to support public services across the UK. The Post Office has been working hard to play its part in substantially reducing its reliance on this funding.  Since the start of its transformation programme it has reduced the financial support required to sustain branches in these smaller communities from £210m a year in 2012/13 to £50m in 2019/20.

The Post Office is continuing to develop and grow its services to meet the needs of not only today’s customers, but tomorrow’s too. Through modernising its network it is improving access to essential services such as everyday banking for personal and business customers of all major UK banks, including cash withdrawals and deposit services.  Easy access to cash is a lifeblood for highstreets of all sizes across the UK, where people can withdraw cash they spend it locally too. With a network of 11,600 of branches, more than all the main UK banks combined, its services remain at the heart of communities where banks no longer exist. 

The Post Office is playing a key role in helping consumers and businesses take advantage of the continued growth in online shopping.  Its branches offer collection and returns services for online shoppers and parcels services, while its Drop & Go, a fast drop mail service, enables small businesses to send online orders and samples to their customers across the country and around the globe, in a speedy and convenient way. Post Office branches also provide communities with access to foreign currency and Passport Check and Send, helping customers to get their passport applcations right first time. 

Paula Vennells, Group Chief Executive of the Post Office, said:

“Making a profit for the first time in 16 years is a major milestone in the Post Office’s journey to a sustainable and successful business. 

“We’re fulfilling the promises we have made, and this is recognised by the Government’s further investment in the Post Office, which will enable us to continue transforming the business to meet our customers’ changing needs – a transformation that has already seen us make significant progress.

“We are committed to making the Post Office matter as much tomorrow as it does today. For over 370 years, the Post Office has stayed relevant to communities the length and breadth of the UK by changing and adapting. With the Post Office now trading at a profit, we are better placed than ever to embrace the future. By continuing to invest in post offices, in our digital channels, in support services and - most importantly – by putting our customers first, I am confident that the Post Office is absolutely ready to take on the opportunities and challenges ahead.”

 

Recent studies and surveys have highlighted the value of Post Office services to UK communities:

  • research by YouGov/London Economics for the Government during 2016 identified Post Offices annual social value to customers, to communities, to local economies and to small businesses at up to £9bn
  • a report by Citizens Advice in July 2017 found that almost 9 in 10 consumers expect to be using Post Office just as much or even more in two years’ time (Citizens Advice – Consumer use of Post Offices report, July 2017)
  • the 2017 Community Barometer from the Association of Convenience Stores, which surveyed UK consumers and local councillors, revealed that Post Offices were voted to have the most positive impact locally on a community
  • the Post Office is one of the most trusted locations for people to collect and return their online shopping (Royal Mail Delivery Matters UK report, 2017)