Royal Mail delivers 800m fewer letters in Zoom surge
LOCKDOWN failed to launch a revival of letter writing as separated families embraced the internet to stay in touch.
Britons sent almost 800 million fewer letters during the coronavirus pandemic, Royal Mail revealed – and the trend has shown no sign of reversal as restrictions ease.
By contrast, user numbers at Zoom, the teleconferencing firm, rocketed from 659,000 users in January to 13 million by April as friends and families sought new ways to maintain contact.
Growth in Royal Mail’s parcel business has failed to offset a collapse in letter volumes, leaving the company struggling to make up lost ground.
Addressed letter volumes fell 33pc between March 30 and June 28. The 788 million decline is equivalent to 8.9 million fewer letters a day and does not include the impact of cancelled local elections.
It is thought that a plunge in business activity and fears about the virus spreading on envelopes are likely to have been behind the fall.
The former FTSE 100 company said: “Advertising mail in Royal Mail continues to be impacted by... low levels of business activity.”
Royal Mail was plunged into a crisis last month after boss Rico Back stepped down less than two years since taking over at the helm.
Keith Williams, the former British Airways chief who is also charged with a review of the railways, took control as executive chairman after Mr Back’s departure.
There is growing City speculation over the intentions of Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, an activist investor who last week lifted his stake in Royal Mail to 12.1pc.
Mr Kretinsky is now Royal Mail’s second-largest investor after fund manage Schroders.
Keith Williams became executive chairman of Royal Mail last month