An Post has defended a near 6% hike in postage rates for packages and large mail items by saying the increase reflects rising handling and transportation costs.
On the back of its latest annual review of postage rates, the company plans to increase the average price of posting large envelopes, packets and "some" parcels within Ireland by an average of 5.9%; although it said some rates for larger items will reduce.
An Post's international postal rates will increase by an average of 7%, with the base rate for sending a letter overseas rising from €1.50 to €1.70.
The changes will come into effect on February 25.
An Post said it performs in a competitive market and its rates are in line with comparable tariffs across Europe.
It said this is the first such rise in large item rates for some time, but hasn't ruled out a further rise in 12 months time.
An Post's managing director for mails and parcels, Garrett Bridgeman said the company is committed to cost-reflective and fair pricing.
"The increases in rates for international postage and larger items are reflective of the increasing costs of sending mail items worldwide and of delivering to every home and business in Ireland every working day," he said.
The basic €1 stamp price for a normal-sized letter is remaining unchanged.
An Post also said there will be no changes - at the moment - to postal rates for its suite of bulk mail discount services for large volume mailers; the category many businesses would fall into.
However, it said it intends to introduce a new range of bulk mail discount services within the next few months.