Boom in online shopping lifts UK Mail’s profit

City A.M. Reporter
PARCEL delivery company UK Mail Group reported an 18 per cent rise in full-year pretax profits yesterday as cost-conscious shoppers look for online shopping deals.

UK Mail, the largest independent parcels, mail and logistics services company in the country, said it expects good progress in the current year, helped by a new, more automated sorting system at its parcels business.

Pre-tax profit, before exceptional items, rose to £17.8m from £15.1m pounds a year earlier. Revenue rose 11 per cent to £475.4m.

The firm – formerly known as Business Post – competes with Royal Mail for its share of the lucrative UK delivery industry.

It said yesterday that its mail volumes increased by two per cent over the year despite a five per cent dip in overall UK volumes, citing both new customers and customers switching from rivals due to price increases.

“Our industry is undergoing some fundamental changes, from the rise in e-commerce and e-communication to the expected forthcoming privatisation of Royal Mail, a valued business partner of UK Mail,” said chief executive Guy Buswell.

“Today’s results demonstrate that our business model has the inherent strength to adapt to this changing market and grasp the opportunities that exist.”

On Tuesday Royal Mail reported a 60 per cent rise in pre-tax profits, which rose to £324m for the year ended 31 March 2013 compared to £201m in 2012.

The firm, which the government hopes to sell off within the year, saw its revenues rise to £9.3bn from £8.8bn over the period.