In October 2013, Royal Mail successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange and was subsequently admitted into the FTSE 100. More than 700,000 members of the public bought shares in Royal Mail. These investors were joined by the overwhelming majority of our people in the UK, who in total received free a ten per cent stake in our Company.
We are undertaking one of the biggest industrial transformations in the UK in recent history. The UK, like many other countries, is experiencing an ongoing decline in letter volumes. We are focused on leveraging an increasing number of parcels, which in turn is driven by the rise of e-retailing.
Achieving our strategic priorities, together with becoming a more customer-focused company, underpins our vision to be recognised as the best delivery company in the UK and across Europe. We are making good progress. However, more remains to be done to ensure we can complete the transformation of our business from one that predominantly handles letters, to one that handles an increasing number of parcels.
A key component of economic and social infrastructure
Our economic impact, as a major employer and purchaser of goods and services, is significant. The Centre for Economics and Business Research Ltd (Cebr), commissioned by Royal Mail, has carried out a complete economic impact assessment of UKPIL. Cebr found that we made the 7th largest contribution to the UK economy of all UK corporations. For the 2013-14 financial year, our impact totalled £10.5 billion in terms of value added, made up of direct and indirect contributions to the wider UK economy. This includes our contribution through employment, procurement and taxation.
GLS is the Group’s European parcels business. It operates one of the largest ground-based, deferred parcel delivery networks in Europe. Across Europe, the GLS network covers 37 countries and nation states through a combination of wholly-owned and partner companies. UKPIL is the UK’s designated provider of the Universal Service. Its network is unrivalled in the UK in terms of size, coverage and geographical reach. UKPIL comprises the core UK and international parcel and letter delivery businesses operated through the Royal Mail core network and Parcelforce Worldwide. It has a leading position in the overall UK parcel market, with an estimated 38 per cent revenue share during 2013-14.
Royal Mail Group Limited is the principal trading entity of Royal Mail plc.
Royal Mail Group Limited includes UK Parcels, International & Letters (UKPIL) which comprises the Group’s UK and international parcels and letters delivery businesses operating under the 'Royal Mail' and 'Parcelforce Worldwide' brands.
Through the Royal Mail Core Network, the Group has the capability to deliver a ‘one-price-goes-anywhere’, six-days-a-week service on a range of letters and parcels to more than 29 million addresses across the UK.
Parcelforce Worldwide operates a separate UK network which collects and delivers express parcels.
The Group also has significant operations in continental Europe through its General Logistics Systems (GLS) business
GLS is one of Europe’s largest ground-based deferred parcels delivery networks.
GLS handled 404 million parcels in 2013-14.