Allan Leighton, the [necessarily] combative ceo of Britain’s Royal Mail Group, declared Wednesday that the postal operator had “stopped the rot” after posting its first improvement in results for five years.

For the year ending in March, Royal Mail almost halved net losses to £611 million ($1 billion; €854m). Underlying turnover (based on continuing operations and adjusted for differences in length of accounting period) increased 0.6% from the previous year to £8.3bn.

The group is still haemorrhaging £750,000 a day, though this is less than the £1.2m daily loss reported a year ago.

Of the group’s units, the Post Office division saw losses jump from £163m to £194m, Parcelforce Worldwide doubled its deficit to £187m, UK mail made £66m and international operations cut losses from £58m to £12m.

Leighton warned there was now a “hypothetical deficit” of £4.6bn in Royal Mail’s pension fund, which it will pay £100m a year to wipe out.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff