Olympic and Paralympic Stamps Help Boost Post Office Profits

Sports fans bought £8m of special Olympic and Paralympic stamps during and after the London 2012 Games, helping Post Office to increase its profits.

\"\"By  James Hall

The 65 stamps featured all Team GB and ParalympicsGB members who won gold medals during the games.

Post Office said that more than 500 of its 11,799 branches opened on Sundays during the Games, many for the first time, so the stamps could be sold the day after a gold medal victory.

Details of the stamp sales came as Post Office released its first trading statement since it was separated from the Royal Mail  earlier this year.

Post Office said that operating profit in the first half of the financial year was £61m, up from £56m in the same period last year. Turnover in the six months to September 23 increased by £16m to £501m, with \”continued strong performance\” in the mail business, especially packets and special deliveries.

Although the performance was stronger than last year\’s, Post Office\’s finances were underpinned by a £103m subsidy from the Government. This subsidy is £13m higher than the money it received last year. Under its current agreement with the Government, the organisation will continue to get the money until 2015.

Chief executive Paula Vennells said the organisation has \”the goal of becoming financially sustainable\”. She added: \”It intends to achieve this though growing its business to generate higher profitable revenues, delivering customer excellence and modernising its network.\”

Post Office said its network was at its most stable for more than 25 years, with 11,799 branches, compared with 11,786 a year ago, and a commitment to \”no further closure programmes\”.

Post Office separated from the Royal Mail Group in April, becoming an independent business. Royal Mail is gearing up for a likely sale or stock market flotation.(Source-telegraph.co.uk)

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