Royal Mail Plc, Britain’s 500-year-old postal service, said it expects rules designed to rein in the abuse of personal data to weigh on letter volumes as companies are forced to scrap targeted marketing campaigns.
The introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation from May 25 means postal demand may suffer an accelerated decline, Royal Mail said Thursday. The slump will be at the top end of a 4-to-6 percent range already forecast as people switch to email, and could exceed it.
“There is a risk that some of our customers will reduce volumes of marketing mail as they get themselves into a state of compliance with the regulations,” Chief Executive Officer Moya Greene said in an interview, adding that the slide in volumes may go beyond the predicted range for “a month or two.”
Royal Mail fell 6.6 percent, the biggest intraday drop since November 2016, after issuing the warning on Thursday with its full-year results. The shares were trading 5.1 percent lower at 567.4 pence as of 10:28 a.m. in London.