The UK postal service issued a surprise profit warning on 1 October, causing its share price to fall almost 25% in three days.

Royal Mail announced productivity was significantly below plan and as a result its cost savings target had lowered from £230m to £100m resulting in a new profit guidance figure of £500-£550m for the year.

The trading statement, which cited ‘challenging’ trading conditions, caused the share price to drop from above 400p on 28 September to 361.5p by 3 October, only slightly ahead of its flotation price of 330p in 2013.

Rico Back, group chief executive, said the company remains focused on delivering growth and pursuing its strategy of targeted acquisitions.