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Royal Mail posts disappointing numbers

The postal service's previously resilient GLS business is suffering
Royal Mail posts disappointing numbers

In recent years, Royal Mail (RMG) has been a two-sided story: letter volumes aren't holding up against digital innovation, but packages are proving resilient. As such, the parcel and international logistics systems (GLS) business is usually the bright spot, so any hint of weakness shouldn't be taken lightly. Although revenues from this division grew 9 per cent to £1.35bn during the first half, cost pressures drove margins down from 7.5 per cent to 5.7 per cent – far beyond the squeeze Berenberg analysts expected. Increased losses in France and the US aren't expected to recover any time soon either, prompting management to cut margin forecasts from more than 7.5 per cent previously to just above 6 per cent. And a £68m impairment charge taken against the division's US assets certainly didn't help matters.

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