Former UK Post Office Reports £1bn Loss

13 June 2002

Consignia, the publicly-owned and recently rebranded UK Post Office, on Wednesday posted a massive annual loss of £1.1 billion ($1.62bn; €1.71bn) – mostly due to exceptional costs associated with its restructuring programme.

It was not unexpected. Canny chairman Allan Leighton had made sure that the world and his wife were aware in advance of the looming loss; and restructuring plans, already in place, are set to axe a further 17,000 jobs over and above the 13,000 already on the line.

Chief executive John Roberts will be retiring as soon as a successor is announced and Consignia also plans to dump its widely derided new name and rebrand for the second time in two years – this time to Royal Mail Group plc.

Former supermarket boss Leighton, a non-executive director of Consignia for over a year, became executive chairman earlier this year and was at pains to make sure no-one associated him with the fiscal fiasco.

“Unresolved issues and problems stretching back for up to a decade are reflected,” he said. He also revealed that Consignia is still haemorrhaging £318m every 24 hours on its day-to-day operations - with “all core businesses losing money” – equivalent to a £1.2m net loss every trading day.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff