A surge in online shopping helped boost Post’s revenue over Christmas as online retailers escaped Covid-19 restrictions that hampered Main Street.
In the four weeks to December 27, the Post recorded 51.3 million customer transactions, just 0.5% lower than the same period of 2019, with sales up 17% to 66.3 million of pounds sterling.
Courier and parcel services grew “significantly”, fueled by the skyrocketing growth of Drop & Go, the Post’s expedited service for businesses and online sellers, which boosted sales by 87%.
Cash and banking services fell only slightly, down 10%, despite restrictions affecting thousands of small businesses that do their banking at one of the 11,500 branches of La Poste, the largest network of retail in UK.
The biggest negative impact of Covid’s restrictions has been on travel money transactions, where like-for-like sales fell 69% as vacations were made nearly impossible for most of the time frame.
Post General Manager Nick Read praised the contribution of postmasters, the people who run individual branches.
The company was forced to issue an apology last year after a landmark court case ruled that it had wrongly accused dozens of postmasters of criminal activity, resulting in multiple convictions.
“After a very difficult year for much of the retail industry, I am happy to see 17% growth in network revenues over the Christmas period thanks to the hard work of the postmasters,” said said Read.
“Our physical presence has been vital across the UK, with customers benefiting from the convenience, expert advice and safe hands our Postmasters provide, in addition to the invaluable support they have provided to local communities. during the pandemic, with 99% of the network remaining open. ”
The variable income of postmasters increased by 20% during the year.
Despite better than usual weather conditions in the four weeks leading up to December 27, revenue from bill payment increased after the Post won a contract with British Gas to process refills.