LONDON Jan 24 Royal Mail Group, sold
off last October in Britain's biggest privatisation in decades,
said underlying sales for the nine months to Dec. 29 rose 2
percent, helped by strong parcel demand over Christmas.
The postal firm, whose sale was fiercely opposed by unions
and opposition lawmakers and has been criticised since for
potentially short-changing the taxpayer, on Friday said strong
Christmas demand and price changes had helped UK parcels revenue
grow 8 percent in the period on flat volumes.
The performance in parcels, which make up half of group
sales, helped offset a 3 percent like-for-like revenue decline
in UK letters, as volumes slowly erode due to the rising use of
email and social media.
Royal Mail said the trading performance had been in line
with its expectations.
Shares in the firm closed at 588 pence on Thursday, up 78
percent from the 330p per share price Britain sold a 60 percent
stake for, valuing the business at 5.9 billion pounds.