17/01/2005

Royal Mail announces record Christmas trading

The Royal Mail has announced a record Christmas trading performance, with a 10.6% revenue increase across the company as compared to the previous year.

The £80 million increase in sales in the four weeks to December 25 is one of the best Christmas performances announced by a large UK company so far.

The Chairman of Royal, Allan Leighton, said: “Royal Mail has had a stunning Christmas. A 10.6% increase in sales at Christmas in a four-week period by a mature business in a mature market is a staggering performance.

“Our people have done a fantastic job and they deserve the credit for Royal Mail’s record trading performance.”

Mr Leighton said preliminary figures were also indicating that quality of service to customers during the Christmas period was among the best levels in at least a decade.

Christmas trading figures show that for the first time Royal Mail’s revenue across the company exceeded £800 million in one month. Total sales were some £80 million higher in December 2004 than in the same month a year ago.

Adam Crozier, Royal Mail’s Chief Executive, said the Christmas trading performance put the company on course to make a profit on day-to-day operations of more than £400 million in the financial year to March 2005, which will allow Royal Mail to achieve its plan of giving its people a Share in Success payment of at least £800.

“We are determined to reward employees for their part in the success of Royal Mail,” said Mr Crozier. He added that Royal Mail had recently announced it was making more than £1 million a day on its operations – a turnaround from the losses of well over £1 million a day it was recording just three years ago.

But Mr Crozier cautioned: “Royal Mail must perform even better as we go forward. There can be no let-up in our drive to deliver high quality services to our customers, day-in, day-out, while generating profits to reinvest in our future and give our shareholder an acceptable return.

“Royal Mail is making remarkable progress. But the biggest challenges lie ahead as we compete in a market that is set to be open to full competition in less than a year’s time in January 2006. Improving quality of service must remain our number one priority.”

(GB)


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