By Daniel Hunter

Royal Mail is warning that its government mandate to provide a Universal Service, which guarantees delivery of letters to the UK, is under threat.

Royal Mail said it coming under growing threat from rival firms which could damage its ability to deliver to the whole of the UK, and harm its revenues.

The postal delivery service issued the warning as it reported a fall in pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of September.

Royal Mail profits were £218m for the period, compared to £233m last year.

It has long called for the end of the Universal Service mandate, which requires post to be delivered across the country, six days a week at one fixed cost.

Royal Mail has seen volumes drop by 3% in the last year.

In a controversial move, Royal Mail was privatised by the government last year.

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