The past year of 2022 was “catastrophic” for Russian Post, the company’s CEO Mikhail Volkov said at a meeting of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Policy.
The state corporation, which is 100% owned by Rosimushchestvo and is the second largest employer in the country after Russian Railways, had a record loss of 30 billion rubles, which increased by another 5 billion in the first quarter of 2023.
The accumulated debt of Russian Post has reached 133 billion rubles and most of this amount “has no sources of repayment and repayment”, Volkov complained.
After the outbreak of war with Ukraine and the imposition of Western sanctions, the Post was on the verge of insolvency. “The fact is that only in the first half of the year the company was obliged to pay more than 30 billion rubles on external liabilities. And if nothing had been done, we would have run out of money to pay salaries as early as May”, Volkov said (he is quoted by Interfax).
Avoiding default, he said, was helped by agreements with creditors, but the situation remains difficult: the state corporation needs 16 billion rubles a year just to service its debt, including payments on leasing. “Even in its best years, the company did not earn so much money to service the interest”, Volkov reminded. Now, the Post has lost a significant part of its income due to the loss of cross-border trade and postal services to a number of countries.
To save the Post, which employs more than 300,000 Russians, the authorities are considering introducing a “tax” on online commerce – 0.5% of the turnover of large marketplaces will be used to support unprofitable post offices, where a wave of forced layoffs and salary cuts began in the summer.
The change in the rules of rate distribution in the Post led to the fact that some employees began to receive 2 thousand rubles in hand, writes “7×7”. On July 16 and 18, pickets were held in Ivanovo region, where participants demanded that postal employees not be optimized and unfurled posters reading “No Post – No State”.
According to Volkov, the Post has launched a financial recovery program and is getting rid of “inefficient costs”. However, according to the director general, the process does not affect ordinary employees: managers have been “optimized” by 20%, and in the central office in Moscow, costs have been “cut” by 25%. Without direct government support, it will be difficult for Russian Post to cope with the situation, according to Kommersant’s source in the express delivery market.