Post offices are facing an increasingly bleak future as their revenue shrinks by the year.
The Irish Post Office (IPO) said that while the share of profits from the post office’s business was up by 3.5pc last year, it is falling by 10pc to just over 1pc of GDP.
Its profits in the year to December were €11.5bn, down by €8.5m on last year.
In the year-end period, profits were down by 5pc, but the share fell by €1.3bn to 1.3pc.
It has now had a decade of low profits, with the total in the first quarter of 2020 at just €5.4bn.
The Post Office has warned that it will have to cut about 2,000 jobs as a result of the downturn.
Its main rival in the UK is the Royal Mail, which is also facing a bleak future.
Its share of post office profits fell to 2.5 per cent in the last financial year, down from 3.4 per cent last year and by more than two-thirds from the previous decade.
The Mail said its profits in 2016 were down 7.5p on the previous year.
There are also concerns about its future growth, as it said it will need to lay off a further 1,300 people by 2021.
The cuts will cost it up to €2.5 billion.
The Royal Mail said it would have to reduce staff by up to 10pc in the next 12 months and could have to make redundancies.
A Post Office spokesman said the company would be reducing its workforce by 4,000 over the next two years.
The post office is struggling to cope with the recession, which has hit the UK’s economy harder than it has in other European countries.
Many jobs have been lost as customers have had to cancel or defer their deliveries.
This has forced many Post Office staff to find other jobs, such as cleaners or waiters, who are being paid less than their post office colleagues.
The UK Post Office said it has seen a 10pc fall in revenue from December to April this year, while the total of profits fell by 11pc.
Post office revenue in Ireland fell by 8pc to €21.4 billion last year to €29.5.6bn.
Ireland Post is facing a crisis of its own as its profits have fallen by almost 60pc over the last five years.
Post Office bosses are desperate to save money, and they are slashing staff numbers.
Post bosses have also been warned that their share of the profit in the Post Office’s portfolio could fall by up 25pc to less than 2pc of its revenues.
The company’s share in the post business was £18.2bn last year when it was at around 30pc.
The number of Post Office employees in the country was 3.1 million in the second quarter of 2019, down to 3.2 million in 2020.