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Royal Mail Like-for-Like Sales Climb as Parcel Deliveries Jump

Royal Mail Group Ltd., the U.K. postal service that sold shares in an initial public offering last year, said like-for-like sales gained 2 percent in the first nine months of the year boosted by parcel deliveries.

U.K. package revenue increased by 8 percent in the nine-month period to Dec. 29 from a year earlier, the London-based company said in a statement today. Royal Mail handled 115 million parcels in December, peaking at 10 million deliveries on the busiest day.

The company sold shares for 330 pence each in October, in the U.K.’s biggest state asset sale since British Rail was broken up in the 1990s. Royal Mail, one of Britain’s biggest employers with about 150,000 staff, has sought to adapt its letter-focused network to more lucrative package delivery in the face of competition from companies such as TNT Express NV.

“People continue to send seasonal good wishes, with Christmas cards underpinning a like-for-like increase in our December stamped mail volumes,” Chief Executive Officer Moya Greene said in the statement.

The company predicted trends including those for revenue and volume of U.K. parcels will continue and said it has “confidence that we will deliver results consistent with our key value drivers for the full year.”

Royal Mail will report results for the full-year ended March 30 on May 22. The stock fell 2 percent to 588 pence yesterday in London.

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