Year: 2007

Postcomm revokes licences

Postcomm has today issued a notice to revoke the licence held by Deutsche Post Global Mail (UK) Ltd.

The postal services provided by Deutsche Post Global Mail (UK) Ltd will continue under the licence granted to DHL Global Mail (UK) Limited on 29 December 2006.

Postcomm has today issued a notice to revoke a licence held by Red Star Parcels Limited (trading as Lynx Mail).

The revoked licence has already been replaced with a new version, granted on 3 November 2006. This licence takes into account the new licensing framework introduced on 1 January 2006, when the UK postal services market was opened to full competition.

Postcomm has today issued a notice to revoke the licence held by Deutsche Post Global Mail (UK) Ltd.

The postal services provided by Deutsche Post Global Mail (UK) Ltd will continue under the licence granted to DHL Global Mail (UK) Limited on 29 December 2006.

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Hungarian Post to cut number of offices

According to daily Nepszabadsag information, Hungarian Postal Service (MP) plans to get rid of more than 1000 of its 2841 post offices. The ones in small villages are planned to be integrated into a franchise network, while the superfluous offices in larger towns are to be closed down in 2007. The transformation has to be finished before 2009, the year of the liberalization of the postal services market. In the future, the postal business is likely to become a part-time job and done in e.g. a restaurant or a grocery. The company hopes the cuts will save billions of forints and will help MP to maintain competitiveness and profitability. The company is satisfied with the mobile postal service, which is operating in 950 villages and will go on expanding and developing it.

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Privatisation is still best option for UK Post Offices

Queues at post offices apparently were longer than usual in the run-up to Christmas, as people sending different sizes of cards and gift parcels had to worry about the new rules on dimensions and weights of envelopes.
For many, this experience will not be repeated. One in six of the UK’s 14,300 post offices will be closed either this year or next. Add in about 4,000 that have already gone since Labour came to power a decade ago and a third of the network will have been cut in a dozen years. Commercial banks could only stand and admire this brutal approach.
Protecting and improving public services was top of Labour’s agenda. Post offices count as a public service to many people. but not perhaps in Whitehall’s definition.
If asked, most voters would oppose closures per se. Some might think differently if presented with the figures given to ministers by Royal Mail. It claims that only 4,000 offices are profitable and network losses will double to Pounds 200 million in this financial year. Such alarming figures are inevitably a matter of choice in any integrated business, or the NHS. Internal accounting is flexible because overheads can be allocated wherever management wants. Under EU rules, the state ought not to subsidise competitive mail or parcels services. It can still fund post offices that were, until recently, used heavily as outlets for state business.

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France's Sernam sells majority stake

Loss-making French express parcels carrier Sernam has sold a majority stake to Paris-based financial investor Butler Capital Partners, the proceeds from which the former SNCF subsidiary says will help expand its services and network.

Butler has taken 51.8 pct of the Sernam holding company, reportedly for EUR 10.7 million, to add to its diverse investments which include the SNCM ferry company, Paris Saint-German football club and mushroom producer France Champignon.

“The entry of a reference shareholder alongside the management team will allow (us) to accelerate the development of the group in key areas, such as the quality of service offered to the group’s clients and strengthening of the network,” Sernam said in a statement.

Butler will hold the majority on the supervisory board, while the management team will continue to be led by Philippe Chevalier, who led Sernam’s management buy-out from SNCF in 2005, the company said.

Sernam, which is one of France’s largest express parcels operators with around 4.5 pct market share, has 2,100 employees and last year registered a loss of EUR 22 million on revenues of EUR 350 million, according to La Tribune newspaper.

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China to create fifth largest bank from postal savings system

China has approved a plan to turn the nation’s huge postal savings system into a bank, which is set to become the nation’s fifth largest lender, the China Daily reported.

The approval for the China Postal Savings Bank to start operations was given by the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the newspaper said.

The bank will be wholly owned by the China Post Group, a 10 bln usd company formed out of the State Post Bureau, formally both the supervisor and a major player in postal services, the China Daily said, citing the commission.

‘China Postal Savings Bank will focus on developing retail and intermediary businesses, to offer basic financial services for residents,’ the newspaper quoted a statement of the commission as saying.

In 2005, there were more than 36,000 postal savings outlets across the country, with two thirds of them distributed in rural areas.

Post offices in China started postal savings services in 1986 but they could only accept deposits from the public and not offer loans, the report said.

The deposit balance of post savings recorded 1.3 trln yuan (166 bln usd) by the end of 2005, accounting for nearly 10 pct of China’s household savings.

The biggest four lenders in China are the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the China Construction Bank, the Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China.

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Deutsche Post sells waste disposal unit Vfw to Monitor Clipper Partners

Deutsche Post AG said it is selling its waste disposal unit Vfw AG to US-based private equity investor Monitor Clipper Partners for an undisclosed sum.

It said the deal, which is subject to antitrust clearance, is expected to be closed in the first quarter of 2007.

It added that Vfw is currently setting up its own recycling system as an alternative to the ‘Green Dot’ of former monopolist Duales System Deutschland GmbH.

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DPD Lithuania to deliver parcels to EU newcomers

DPD Lietuva, the Lithuanian express parcel delivery company, will ship parcels to the European Union (EU) newcomers Bulgaria and Romania starting from 2007.

DPD network has become the first European parcel operator to launch the delivery of parcels by roads to these countries, DPD Lietuva has said in a statement.

Parcels from Vilnius to Bucharest and Sofia would be delivered in five and six business days, respectively, said Gintaras Bingelis, DPD Lietuva sales and marketing director for the Baltic countries. In Bulgaria and Romania, the parcels will be delivered by GeoPost Bulgaria and GeoPost Cargus.

DPD Lietuva currently offers parcel delivery services to 23 European Union (EU) Member States and from 18 EU Members.

Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU on Jan. 1.

DPD Lietuva offers a parcel delivery service DPD/Bizpak. The company posted 27.6 million litas (EUR 8 mln) in sales for full 2005, a surge of 39 percent versus the year-earlier figure.

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Increased benefits for UK business mail customers from 2007 postage prices

Two new products and enhancements to existing services, aimed at business customers and large volume mailers, will be introduced on 2 April 2007, Royal Mail announced today. These are part of the changes to postage prices that will come into effect next year in line with the four-year price control set by postal regulator Postcomm in March 2006.

One of the new products is Automated Standard Tariff Large Letter. This offers business customers sending a minimum of 250 large letter-sized items that can be machine sorted discounts of between six to nine per cent.

Another new product – Cleanmail Advance – will offer easier access to discounts for customers sending more than 1,000 items with correct and machine readable addresses.
Royal Mail is also introducing enhanced volume-related discounts for some of its Mailsort business mail services. These include more volume-related thresholds that attract a discount, and a lowering of the minimum threshold, to enable a larger number of smaller mailers to qualify for a discount.

Prices will continue to decrease for heavier weight items, which will support the growth of the online retail market.

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