THE price of a standard 55c stamp is to rise by as much as 5c – although An Post lost a battle with communications regulator ComReg for a 10c hike.
The regulator is only prepared to sanction a rise of between 3c and 5c, which will come in to effect within the next few months.
An Post will now have to find another way of dealing with its deepening financial woes.
It believed it would make an extra €14m this year if it got the regulator's backing for the 10c hike.
The state-owned postal service already stands to make €8m from an increase in the cost of posting packages.
It argued that it had not put up the price of standard post since 2007, despite losing a huge amount of business. But ComReg did not believe allowing the price hikes would address An Post's 'cash burn' problems.
It said the extra revenue of €22m it expected from the price hikes would only cover a third of its losses this year.
ComReg expects An Post to lose €65m, following €50m losses last year.
ComReg fears An Post could run out of money in the next two years after its cash balance fell from €350m in 2008 to €150m at the end of 2011.
The stamp price hike that the regulator is likely to approve will bring in three quarters of An Post's target saving of €14m.