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Royal Mail: annual profit slumps, in line with expectations

( - The British postal operator Royal Mail said its annual profit slumped, in line with downgraded expectations.

On an adjusted basis, the group made a profit before tax of 398 million pounds in 2018/2019, down from 565 million the previous year.

Operating profit before transformation costs fell to 509 million pounds, from 694 million pounds, while its margin declined to 3.6%, from 5.7%.

"Full-year results were in line with consensus and the lower end of the guidance range, both of which were cut after the October profit warning," analysts at Liberum commented.

Its board recommends a final dividend of 17 pence per share, meaning a 2018/2019 dividend of 25 pence per share, up 4%.

However, from 2019/2020, the group aims to pay a full-year dividend of 15 pence per share, it said.

Analysts said the group's new strategic plan was "mixed", but also noted the shares' "undemanding valuation." The stock was up over 5% in London this morning.

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