Royal Mail said it is conducting a broad review of operations in its struggle to cut costs after it today posted a 25% drop in half-year profit. 

The post and parcels company, the CEO of which has come under increasing pressure since being handed the top job in June, said it was examining its organisational structure, management roles, investment spending and central costs. 

Royal Mail stuck to the downgraded 2018 profit and cost-savings guidance announced in a trading update last month.

It said today it was testing new modes to deliver letters and ways of automating some deliveries in the UK to increase efficiency and cut costs. 

It also said it was changing prices in UK business mail and many international markets, adding that it was looking to make more of potential synergies between Royal Mail and its GLS parcels business. 

"If you have a trading update and have to revise your forecast downwards, you are going to pull down all your cost levers," chief executive Rico Back told Reuters. 

The company's attempts to reduce costs have failed to progress at the rate initially expected, which Back said was partly attributable to the lingering effects of an industrial dispute and the complexity of implementing an agreement with unions. 

Royal Mail had signed an agreement with the CWU trade union in February on new working conditions, pay increases, pensions, a shorter working week, technology and digitisation.

Productivity slipped by 0.2% in Royal Mail's first half to September 23. 

Back said that productivity would improve in the second half but declined to say if it would meet the original target of hitting the upper end of its 2-3% range for 2018-19.

Shares of the former British postal monopoly have lost nearly a quarter of their value this year. 

Shareholder dissatisfaction has also been stoked by executive pay levels, with investors overwhelmingly rejecting senior management pay packages in July. 

Royal Mail has been struggling to stem falling letter volumes and more recently warned that the new European data privacy law could reduce traditional marketing mail. 

It said its adjusted operating profit before transformation costs fell to £242m, broadly in line with analysts' estimates, in the six months to September 24, compared to £323m the same time last year. 

Rival Deutsche Post DHL Group is also restructuring its post and parcel division after it reported a smaller than expected decline in third-quarter operating profit.