Year: 2003

KLM warns of full year loss

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines today said cargo traffic was flat in December, and also issued a warning that it is unlikely to achieve a full-year operating profit as a slowing global economy and political uncertainty are depressing demand and trimming margins.

Europe’s fourth-largest airline said cargo volumes last month were the same as a year ago and down 5 percent from December 2000. Traffic on Asia Pacific routes, which has grown strongly in recent months, stagnated in December while traffic on the North Atlantic slipped 4 percent.

KLM’s cargo traffic is still up 4 percent for the first nine months of the fiscal year but the sudden slowdown in December has raised concern the revival in the world air freight market is running out of steam.

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DHL sets rate hike

DHL Worldwide Express announced Monday that it will raise rates by 3.5 percent on Feb. 2 on most of its U.S. domestic and U.S. outbound services.

The increase is the same as the price increases announced by FedEx Corp. that took effect Monday and similar to those of Airborne Express and United Parcel Service. The Airborne and UPS increases also were implemented Monday. Airborne, for example, said its rates for its 10:30 AM, Express AM, Next Afternoon, and Two Day service are rising by an average of 3 percent. The increase for Airborne’s international express service will average 4 percent, while rates for its Ground and its at-home service will go up an average of 3.9 percent.

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Tesco deal sparks post offices fear

Over 300 local post offices are under threat after supermarket giant Tesco buys convenience store operator T&S stores, and hundreds more could face closure as the convenience store industry consolidates.

The T&S portfolio includes the Dillons, Day & Nite and One-Stop chains, and contains 329 small post offices, already an endangered species across the country.

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Troubled Royal Mail could get postage rises above inflation

Royal Mail may be allowed to increase the price of postage by more than the rate of inflation after the government admitted that the troubled state-owned company risked going into administration in the face of increasing competition.

Postcomm, the postal regulator, is expected to approve a 1p increase in the price of both first and second class stamps by the end of January. But insiders hinted yesterday it could drop controversial plans to cap future rises at 2.5 per cent, the forecast level of retail price inflation.

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Japan postal savings fall for 3rd consecutive year

The outstanding balance of postal savings at the end of 2002 decreased 1.9% from a year earlier to 235,817.6 billion yen, marking the third consecutive year of contraction, the Postal Services Agency said Monday.

The balance began to decline in 2000 when the huge redemption of fixed-amount “teigaku” savings, contracted in the period of high interest rates a decade earlier, started.

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Royal Mail 'could go bust' fear

Royal Mail said yesterday it could “not rule out” administration as a “hypothetical worst case” scenario if there wasn’t a satisfactory way agreed to finance the company.

The comment came in response to reports that Royal Mail – which is losing pounds 1.1m a day – could be “forced into administration” unless it was allowed to raise stamp prices.

A Royal Mail spokesman however stressed that, while he could not rule it out, it was a hypothetical situation.

The company is currently awaiting a decision from the post regulator, Postcomm, on future price rises.

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Mail faces last post, warns DTI

Royal Mail may be forced into administration unless it is allowed to raise stamp prices, the Government has admitted.

The stark warning is contained in a Department of Trade and Industry report sent to the postal regulator Postcomm late in December.

The DTI, which is the sole shareholder in Royal Mail, warns that if Postcomm rejects requests for an increase in prices then Royal Mail won’t be able to pay back three government loans worth more than pounds 1bn.

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