An Post is a commercial State company with a mandate to deliver a postal delivery service and a viable post office network. It is also designated as the sole universal service provider under the Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Act 2011 which requires it to, among other matters, fulfil the universal service obligation of a five-day-per-week delivery service.
Operational matters and the role of developing and implementing commercial strategies for An Post mails and retail businesses are matters for its board and management. An Post has developed a strategic plan which includes measures such as investing €50 million in growing and modernising the post office network; splitting the company into two distinct business units, namely, An Post Mails and Parcels and An Post Retail; relaunching its parcel business following a breakthrough labour agreement; and diversifying and growing its financial service products. It has recently reported strong growth in its parcel business and a much improved financial performance. It is continuing to make good progress in implementing its strategic plan which will see a range of developments across the mails and retail businesses. A refreshed and modernised An Post brand has been launched in recent weeks, alongside a new financial services proposition, An Post Money, and a new business-to-business brand, An Post Commerce.
A €30 million loan was provided by the Government to An Post to support the required transformation programme. This helped ensure the continued delivery of the universal service obligation to deliver post to every address every working day - which is a European Union requirement - and to support a nationwide post office network.
The Deputy raised the issue of the sorting business. In 2017, as part of a Labour Court recommendation the payment of a pay increase was conditional on necessary cost savings being achieved. One of the requirements was the closure of one of the four An Post mail centres. No decision has been made by the company on which centre shall close.