UPDATE 1-Online Christmas shopping props up UK Mail revenue
Jan 15 (Reuters) - UK Mail Group Plc said quarterly revenue rose about 6 percent, driven by an increase in parcel deliveries as more British shoppers went online to buy Christmas gifts.
UK Mail, which competes with larger rival Royal Mail Plc , said volumes delivered by its parcels business rose 15 percent in the third quarter ended Dec. 31 from a year earlier.
The increase reflects a 19.2 percent increase in online sales of non-food products in the UK in December, the highest growth in four years, according to a a British Retail Consortium (BRC) survey carried out by KPMG.
The BRC survey showed that one in five non-food products were bought online in December, helped by a surge in the use of smartphones and tablets.
Rampant discounting dominated Christmas retail trade in 2013. The clear winners held out against price cutting and had both high-street and online stores to benefit from a last-minute surge in trade.
"It is clear from weekly volume patterns that shoppers were, more than ever before, leaving their online Christmas shopping to the last minute," UK Mail Chief Executive Guy Buswell said in a statement.
UK Mail has a market capitalisation of 371 million pounds ($610.7 million). Royal Mail, which went public last year, has a market capitalisation of 5.95 billion pounds.
UK Mail's shares, which have almost doubled in the last year, were flat at 669.6 pence in morning trading on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
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