Brexit ballot to deliver sales boost for Royal Mail

Royal Mail expects the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU to spur a short-term surge in sales as the postal operator delivers pamphlets for the both sides of the campaigns as well as mail-in ballots.

Chief executive Moya Greene said she expects about 30% of those who vote in the June 23 referendum to cast ballots by post, based on patterns from previous elections.

The company should see a short-term benefit from the increase in volume.

“We certainly get paid for that,” said Ms Greene.

The UK has about 45m registered voters. The company, which also delivers pamphlets and ballots for national and local elections, said that overall it expects a smaller benefit from these mailings in the current financial year.

That could help make up for slowing growth in Europe and higher than expected costs related to Royal Mail’s transition to becoming a private company.

The company is grappling with a structural decline in letter deliveries because of a shift to email.

Royal Mail said yesterday that addressed letter volume, excluding campaign mailings, fell 3% in the 12 months to the end of March.

Ms Greene declined to comment on whether Royal Mail was for or against Britain’s EU membership.

While UK letter volume fell, sales have grown in Royal Mail’s domestic and continental European parcel delivery business.

The company recently won business from retailers such as John Lewis and Waterstones, helping it to make up for business lost when Amazon set up its own UK delivery operation.

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