Wednesday 7 December 2016

An Post chief to keep €500,000 pay as 2,000 lose jobs

Published 29/04/2011 | 05:00

AN Post plans to cut 2,000 jobs by the end of 2015 after losses at the company soared to €25m last year.

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But chief executive Donal Connell will retain his pay package of €500,000 a year.

A spokesperson for An Post said the job cuts would be voluntary and would come from all aspects of the business.

The company had previously set a target of cutting 1,300 jobs in a three-year programme running up to 2012, but the on-going recession, increased competition and shrinking letter volumes have forced it to increase the figure.

News of the job losses emerged as An Post published its annual report for 2010.

The accounts show that Mr Connell's basic salary of €386,000 is topped up by benefits, including a car allowance worth €21,000, a director's fee of €16,000 and pension contributions worth €77,000.

Mr Connell has waived a performance bonus worth up to 25pc of his basic salary for the past three years.

But his large salary package is sure to ignite public anger in light of the increased job losses.

In the report, Mr Connell said post offices handled 7pc fewer letters last year than in previous years. It follows a 10pc fall in 2009, with a further 5pc decline expected for 2011.

Declining

More than 9,600 people currently work for the company, the bulk of them in the declining mail-sorting operations.

The Communications Workers Union, which represents many postal workers, said last night that its officers were not available for comment.

The new job reduction target will include jobs cut last year but not in 2009. It brings the remaining target down to 1,644.

The annual report also showed that the postal giant suffered a loss of €24.7m last year, down from €29.1m the previous year.

Despite the losses, An Post receives no funding from the Exchequer and is sitting on a cash pile of €198m.

The company blamed exceptional costs for last year's losses, including a cost of €6.6m to shut down Postbank, a failed joint venture to roll out a post-office bank in partnership with Dutch bank Fortis and later BNP Paribas of France.

Profits were further battered by a €20m charge to finance job cuts and a €3.9m contribution to the An Post pension scheme, which had a deficit of €368m at the end of last year.

Turnover rose last year to €805m and, excluding the one-off redundancy programme and other costs, An Post posted an operating profit of €5.8m.

An Post runs 1,170 post offices, one of the largest post office networks in Europe.

Irish Independent

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