Business Post Welcomes Proposed Postcomm Determination of Access Terms for its Proposed Business Mail Service

Business Post Group PLC (BPG.L) welcomes today’s announcement by Postcomm, the independent postal industry regulator, permitting UK Mail Limited, Business Post’s subsidiary, access to Royal Mail’s postal facilities on specified terms, subject to public consultation over the next three months.

In particular, UK Mail believes that the proposed final delivery charge of 11.88p for items of under 60 g – covering the vast majority of letter mail – transported to the Royal Mail Delivery Office represents a feasible basis for its proposed service. Called Business Class, this will offer a time definite two day delivery, with increased flexibility of collection and track-and-trace.

Paul Carvell, Business Post’s Chief Executive, said “UK Mail has been asked to pay rather more than we had hoped. However, after 18 months since UK Mail was granted its interim licence, we are keen to get on with the launch of our new service which has stimulated a lot of interest among many large business customers.”

Peter Kane, Business Post’s Chairman, added “Considering that the UK business mail market is growing by 3% per annum and independent operators are likely to have a total market share of under 10% after three years, I hope that the Royal Mail will now recognise that we are all potentially in a triple win situation – with customers, independent operators and the Royal Mail all benefiting.”

Notes to Editors
In November 2001, UK Mail was granted an interim licence by Postcomm to collect mail from business customers and, after sorting and distribution, to pass the mail to Royal Mail for final delivery.

In April 2002, UK Mail asked Postcomm to make a determination under the Postal Services Act of the terms and conditions for its handing over the mail to Royal Mail for final delivery, following failure to reach agreement.

In May 2002, Postcomm published its decision to approach Market Opening in three phases: January 2003 – March 2005: about 30% of the market open for licences; April 2005- March 2007: about 60% of the market open for licences; and April 2007: no restriction.

On 30 April 2003, Postcomm announced that it was minded to grant a long term licence to UK Mail, subject to one month’s consultation.

Postcomm’s proposed tariff additionally includes, for items of under 60 g, 13.01p for items transported to the Royal Mail Inward Mail Centre (without sorting to the Delivery Office) and 11.46p (with sorting to the Delivery Office).

Enquiries:
Business Post Group plc

Bill Cockburn (Deputy Chairman) (today only) 020 7444 4166
Paul Carvell (Chief Executive) (today only) 020 7444 4166
Peter Fitzwilliam (Finance Director) 01753 706 070

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