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Deutsche Post to trim operations

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14:20 CET+01:00
Germany's privatized postal service said on Sunday it planned to sell hundreds of its branch offices to other companies but had no plans to cut jobs in the process.

A Deutsche Post spokesman said the company was stepping up an ongoing strategic shift by unloading the overwhelming majority of its 850 smaller post offices on local businesses such as supermarkets, bakeries or news agents. The new owners would then offer the same products and services alongside their own core businesses.

A report in the German daily Lübecker Nachrichten said some 700 post offices with about 3,000 employees would be affected as part of a cost-cutting drive.

"We have never laid off any staff in this reorganization," the spokesman said, adding that most of the branch offices had few employees. Deutsche Post closed about 400 branch offices in recent years and now works with more than 8,000 partner-run offices.

The Bonn-based company suffered a heavy blow last month with the departure of chairman Klaus Zumwinkel who is under investigation in Germany's biggest-ever tax evasion probe.

Zumwinkel had overseen the privatization of Deutsche Post, which was formed in 1990 to take over the mail activities of the state-run postal services. The company went public in 2000 and is now a giant in the logistics sector.

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