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UK’s Ofcom Warns Royal Mail Covid-19 Is No Longer Excuse to Miss Targets

By Michael Susin

The U.K.’s Office of Communications said Friday that it has warned Royal Mail it can’t continue to rely on the impact of Covid-19 to justify poor delivery performance.

The regulator said an investigation between April 2021 and March 2022 concluded that the postal-services company failed to meet several delivery targets.

However, it has accepted Royal Mail’s evidence of the pandemic-related impacts were beyond the company’s control and responsible for missing its regulatory obligations last year.

Among the reasons, it included unpredictable staff absences, unusually higher volumes and larger parcel sizes, and challenges regarding social distancing measures.

However, the regulator doesn’t expect Covid-19 to continue to have a significant impact on the company’s service levels.

“We are concerned by the fact that Royal Mail’s performance in the early part of 2022-2023 fell well short of where it should be. We believe the company has had plenty of time to learn lessons from the pandemic, and we are unlikely to consider the factors outlined above as exceptional and beyond its control in future,” it said.

Write to Michael Susin at michael.susin@wsj.com

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