Rise in price of stamp saved An Post from ‘examinership’

Postal company chief confirms he was unsuccessful applicant for RTÉ’s top job

The chief executive of An Post said the semi-state company would have gone into examinership had the price of a stamp not increased two years ago.

David McRedmond said the company, which recorded a €40 million profit last year, turned it fortunes around thanks to the increase in the cost of stamps and the increase in parcels being shipped.

In 2017, An Post increased the price of a stamp from 72c to €1. The original plan was to increase the price to 95c, but Mr McRedmond decided to increase it to €1 at the last minute, a decision which was worth an additional €20 million.

“We had to fix the core economics so I went to Government and I said ‘you’ve got to get rid of the price cap, we’ve got to get prices up’. We put the prices up nearly 40 per cent. We put it up 36 per cent,” he said.


He added that there was “no choice” but to increase prices. “Otherwise we were going into examinership,” he said.

“It was worth about €60 million in the first year. About another €30 to €40 million the second year. It was a very large part of the improvement. Now it’s worth much less and in fact most of the improvement has come from the growth in parcels which is phenomenal.”

Speaking on The Business on RTÉ Radio One, Mr McRedmond also confirmed he had previously applied to be RTÉ's director-general but was unsuccessful in his application.

Mr McRedmond, who was the chief executive of TV3 for more than nine years, said he had met with headhunters but ultimately the board decided he did not have the right programming experience for the role.

“I didn’t have the right programming experiences. I think Tallafornia put them off, or something like that,” he said in reference to the short-lived reality TV series.

"Never mind that I built a studio and Vincent Browne and all of those pieces."

However, he told The Business on RTÉ Radio One, he was not questioning the outcome. “Firstly, I had no entitlement of the job and Dee Forbes [who was appointed] has fantastic experience and international experience and so do others, plenty of other, good people going for it.

“I think I probably should have gotten an interview, but that’s another matter.”

He added that while he would not describe his desire to work with RTÉ as unfinished business, he would eventually like to re-enter the media sphere.

Mr McRedmond has led the reform of the State-owned postal company since 2016, which experienced annual losses of €12 million before he took over the reigns.

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is a reporter for The Irish Times