May 15 (Reuters) - Britain's Royal Mail on Monday named internal candidate Stuart Simpson as its next chief finance officer, promoting its director of group finance to the post that will be vacated by outgoing head Matthew Lester later this year.
The former postal monopoly said Simpson, who has held various senior operational and finance positions since joining Royal Mail in 2009, would step into the role at the close of its annual general meeting on July 20.
The appointment comes as Royal Mail has seen a worsening of conditions in its core business of delivering letters, where volumes have declined, and continues to see stiff competition in its parcels business.
The company is also embroiled in talks with unions over plans to close its defined benefit pension scheme at the end of March 2018 after finding that it would have to double annual contributions to over 1 billion pounds to keep it running.
Royal Mail said Simpson had been selected after a detailed review of internal and external candidates as he could help drive the company's transformation.
"Over the past three years, (Simpson) has been instrumental in driving performance particularly in the core business," Chief Executive Moya Greene said in a statement.
"He brings a very detailed knowledge of our business to this key role ... This will prove invaluable as he works with me to transform Royal Mail."
Late last year, Lester announced his intention to quit after more than six years. At that point, the firm did not give a reason for the planned departure.
Royal Mail is scheduled to report its full-year results on May 18. (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru, editing by David Evans)