A MERRY return on Christmas parcels has allowed Royal Mail to report a one per cent growth in revenues for the first nine months of the year, the company revealed in a trading update yesterday.
Parcel volumes for the nine months were up three per cent, compared to two per cent in the first half. The figure was buoyed by a four per cent year-on-year rise in parcel volumes for the month of December, in which Royal Mail delivered 120m parcels.
Chief executive Moya Greene told City A.M.: “It was the best Christmas in my five years here. That’s a function of several things: Firstly, we started planning for Christmas on 1 April; secondly, we had in place before the summer 10 pop-up parcel sorting facilities and brought 19,000 new people on board, so we were ready to go. 120m parcels is more than the vast majority of industry players deliver in a whole year”
Although in line with analysts expectations, the one per cent growth was still a fall on the two per cent recorded at the half year, and Greene admits that competition in the parcel market is still hurting the company.
“We have a lot of new players in the parcel market and some of those of players continue to financially underperform, and as result of that retailers are able to drive pricing down as many of these players will accept very low prices just to fill up their networks,” she said.