Royal Mail Rises on Overseas Parcels, Slower Decline in Letters

  • Nine-month revenue increases 1 percent from a year earlier
  • Postal company's stock trades as much as 5.2 percent higher

Royal Mail Plc stock rose as much as 5.2 percent after Britain’s 500-year-old postal service said European parcel deliveries grew more than expected in the first nine months of its fiscal year, which included Christmas, while letter volumes were buoyed by the collapse of U.K. rivals.

Sales advanced 1 percent from a year earlier, Royal Mail said, without providing a figure, led by an 11 percent boost in European package numbers. Letter volumes, excluding deliveries linked to the U.K. general election, fell 3 percent -- half the possible decline the company had forecast.

While Royal Mail has been struggling with a collapsing letters market, an end to deliveries at PostNL NV’s U.K. unit Whistl let it pick up business. Faced with the rapid expansion of online retailers led by Inc. in Britain, the company has also targeted parcels markets such as Poland and Italy.

Royal Mail stock was trading 3.5 percent higher at 436.40 pence as of 10:41 a.m. in London. It has declined 1.6 percent this year, valuing the company at 4.4 billion pounds ($6.2 billion).

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