News Column

Royal Mail relief as shareholder revolt is averted

July 25, 2014

THOMAS FITZGERALD



ROYAL Mail chief Moya Greene's 1.35m pay package was overwhelmingly approved yesterday as a threatened shareholder revolt failed to materialise at its annual general meeting (AGM) in Birmingham. The letter and parcel delivery company, controversially privatised last Octo-ber, saw all resolutions at the sparsely attended AGM passed by well over 90 per cent, with only around 3.5 per cent of shareholders voting against the directors' remuneration policy.


Concerns over a shareholder revolt eased in the 24 hours leading up to the event when the government, which still has a 30 per cent stake in Royal Mail, revealed it would vote in favour of the proposed management remuneration package.


Shareholders were thin on the ground on the day at the AGM at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.


City A.M. understands that rather than the expected few thousand, the turnout was much lower, and was only in the hundreds.


Royal Mail has had mixed results recently, as earlier this week it announced parcel revenues had unexpectedly fallen in its first quarter, affected by strong competition from rivals "aggressively cutting prices", and Amazon in particular introducing its own delivery vans and cutting its minimum order level for free delivery.


Royal Mail management maintained its commitment to its universal service obligation, even though questions had been raised about its economic sustainability in the face of fierce competition from rivals.


Meanwhile, bicycle postal deliveries are to be relegated to the past, and are to be replaced by trolleys due to lower letter volumes but increased parcel volumes. The bicycles will be donated to charities, which will ship them to Africa.


Shares in Royal Mail closed down 0.56 per cent at 447.90p.


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Source: City A.M. (UK)


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