Royal Mail’s annual profits have more than doubled, soaring to £403m last year, on the back of strong growth in online parcel deliveries with even direct mail revenues on the up.
The results, likely to accelerate plans for privatisation, show the UK parcels and letters unit reported an operating profit of £294m, compared with just £33m last year.
Total group operating profits for the 52 weeks to the end of March rose to £403m, up from £152m for the previous year.
Revenues from UK parcel deliveries were up 13%, and parcels now account for 48% of revenue across the group. On a like-for-like basis, parcel volumes rose by 5% over the year.
The UK letters business grew to £4.7bn (including direct mail), representing like-for-like growth of 3%, despite an 8% fall in deliveries. This was achieved through higher prices. Of that, direct mail reported a 2% increase in revenue to £1.1bn.
Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene said: “Our strategy is delivering. The transformation of Royal Mail is well underway. We remain well positioned to benefit from significant growth in online retailing in the UK.”
It is now thought that the privatisation of Royal Mail will be completed by March next year, although some claim it could be as close as this autumn. However, only yesterday (Monday) the postal union threatened to derail the move by boycotting final mile deliveries.
Although likely to trigger court action, it is thought the industrial action is designed to show potential investors that Royal Mail still has difficult industrial relations issues.
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