LONDON (Reuters) -Britain’s communications regulator Ofcom launched a probe on Tuesday into Royal Mail’s failure to meet targets in the past year, the latest hurdle for the post and parcel delivery firm as it also grapples with union disputes.
Royal Mail said earlier this month it did not meet delivery targets for 2021-2022, including those for mail and postcode areas, blaming disruption during the spread of COVID-19 and the
“pingdemic https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/pingdemic-english-businesses-buckle-under-covid-isolation-demands-2021-07-19” of COVID alerts that pummelled British businesses.
“Our investigation … will gather evidence to understand the reasons behind this substantial lapse in performance, and determine whether Royal Mail has breached its requirements,” Ofcom said in a statement.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We are disappointed with our 2021-22 Quality of Service performance and apologise to all customers that have been affected by any service issues,” adding that the firm would fully participate in Ofcom’s probe.
Shares of the London-listed company were down 3.1% at 318.6 pence by 0951 GMT, among the biggest drags on the benchmark FTSE 100 index, up 0.4%.
Royal Mail benefited from a parcel boom during the pandemic, but has said meeting financial forecasts this year hinged on its main labour union agreeing a pay deal which the latter has so far rejected.
“As we return to more normal ways of working and deliver on our transformation programme, we are confident that we are doing the right things to enable service levels to improve going forward,” the spokesperson said.
(Reporting by Muvija M in London, with Shanima A and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Kylie MacLellan and David Holmes)