Belfast Telegraph

Letters are failing to deliver for Royal Mail

By Roger Baird

Royal Mail failed to grow sales in the first three months of its financial year as "challenging" trading continued to see letter revenues fall.

It said the number of letters delivered fell 5% and sales dropped 4% in the quarter to June 28 in a tough environment that continues to see email eat in to the traditional letter market.

This figure excludes the impact of election mailings.

But its parcels unit saw sales by volume lift 3% and revenues rise 2% in the period, as recent cost-cutting and other new initiatives took effect.

The update comes after shares in Royal Mail fell sharply on Friday as regulator Ofcom confirmed the scope of a "fundamental review" in to the firm's operations that could see it impose a cap on prices.

The group said the outlook for its letters and parcels businesses for the full-year remained unchanged, as it continues to clamp down on costs.

It added the group's annual performance will be heavily dependent on the important Christmas season, as usual.

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