January 18, 2018 / 7:55 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-UK's Royal Mail nine-month revenue rises on higher parcel volumes

(Adds details on parcel volumes, addressed letter volumes, background)

Jan 18 (Reuters) - Royal Mail on Thursday reported a rise in nine-month revenue, helped by higher parcel volumes and strength in its international business.

Parcel volumes during the period rose 6 percent, with 149 million parcels handled over the key December trading period.

The postal and parcel delivery company said revenue rose 2 percent for the nine months ended Dec. 24, with revenue at its European parcels business climbing 10 percent.

The company said it now expects addressed letter volumes to be in the middle of the 4-6 percent decline range it had previously forecast for the full year.

Letters performance was better-than-expected, with addressed letter volumes down 5 percent in the nine-month period, Royal Mail said.

Competition is getting tougher in the parcels market because of new entrants such as Amazon, while letter volumes continue to fall. Royal Mail also needs to convince unions to back its plan to close a pension scheme.

Royal Mail, which has been in a row with the Communications Workers Union (CWU) over plans to replace the company’s defined benefit pension scheme, added it was making progress in talks with its unions. (Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri, Bernard Orr)

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