Britain relaunches plans to part-privatise postal service

20th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain's new coalition government said on Thursday that it was relaunching plans to part-privatise Royal Mail, which had been ditched by the former Labour administration last year.

In an updated policy document, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition led by Prime Minister David Cameron said it would seek "an injection of private capital" into state-run Royal Mail.

It came as the company posted a 26-percent rise in annual operating profits to 404 million pounds (469 million euros, 578 million dollars) after cutting thousands of jobs.

"Royal Mail is showing signs of financial recovery, but it still faces huge challenges," Business Secretary Vince Cable said on Thursday.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown's Labour government scrapped plans to part-privatise Royal Mail in July 2009 as the country struggled with recession.

Ministers had argued that private sector investment was urgently required to secure the future of the Royal Mail as Britons increasingly use e-mail instead of sending letters.

© 2010 AFP

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