Royal Mail “fully met” peak season goals

National postal operator Royal Mail has reported its trading performance for the nine months to 27 December 2015 “fully met” expectations.

Chief Executive Officer of Royal Mail Moya Greene said, “Once again, our postmen and women delivered a great Christmas – even better than last year’s strong performance. This is because of the commitment of our people and our investment in additional temporary staff and sorting capacity. Extensive planning, which began in the spring, ensured we had the capacity to accommodate additional volumes from our retail customers and other delivery operators.

“In the first nine months, UK parcel volumes were up 4%, with 130m parcels handled in December alone, 6% more than last year. The performance in letters improved slightly over the first half, with addressed letter volumes, excluding elections, down 3%.

“In Europe, GLS performed better than expected with volumes up 11%. Given the performance to date, we are not anticipating a decline in GLS margins for the full year. We remain on track to deliver at least a 1% reduction in underlying operating costs before transformation costs in UKPIL for the full year.”

Royal Mail released a statement this morning that flagged up some of the investments it has made over the nine month period to improve its technological capabilities and enhance its offering of the parcels space. The company agreed to buy same day parcel delivery company eCourier in November, and NetDespatch in December.

Royal Mail has however been caught up in the French antitrust investigations, but the company has said that it had fully provided for the €55.1 million fine in its financial statements for the year end 29 March 2015.

Efficiencies are still important to the company, and it plans on delivering at least a 1% reduction in operating costs before transformation costs in UKPIL for the full year.

The statement from Royal Mail concluded, “Given the performance to date we are not anticipating a decline in GLS margins for the full year. Otherwise our outlook for letter and parcel trends and other guidance remain unchanged from that set out in our financial results for the half year ended 27 September 2015.The results for the full year ending 27 March 2016 are expected to be announced on Thursday 19 May 2016.”

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