Royal Mail receives election boost as international business drives revenues

Royal Mail’s first-quarter revenues were boosted by an increase in political mail during last month’s General Election and a strong performance in its overseas business, reports The Telegraph.

In the three months to June 25, Royal Mail’s group revenues rose 1 per cent thanks primarily to a 5 per cent growth in volumes in GLS, its international parcel delivery service.

The General Election helped to soften the decrease in revenues from letters in the UK, although total letter revenue was still down 4 per cent.

The company said that decline would have been worse without “higher than expected revenue associated with the UK political parties’ 2017 General Election mailings”.

“GLS continues to be a driving force for the group,” said chief executive Moya Greene. “Its ongoing, focussed international expansion is increasing our geographic diversification, scale and reach.”

The results come a week after Royal Mail made its latest offer to workers in a long-running battle over its pension scheme.

The postal service said that employees would be able to choose between a new defined benefit scheme or a defined contribution scheme, set up as a new section of the Royal Mail Pension Plan and available for all plan members.

The Unite union said last week that it believed the offer was the “best available deal” for Royal Mail workers.

The company said it “continues to discuss future pension arrangements” with the Communication Workers Union.

Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Nicholas Hyett said: “Royal Mail has emerged as the one clear winner of last month’s general election, with political mailings helping to slow the inexorable decline in UK letter volumes.

“However, increasingly it’s the international business which will be driving growth long term. The division put in another respectable performance this quarter, with recent acquisitions increasing its importance to the overall business.”