Royal Mail Says UK Parcel Volumes Slide as Restrictions Ease

The company, one of the oldest postal firms, said parcel volumes in its UK business fell 13% in the three months ended June 30, as compared with a year earlier, but were up 19% from the corresponding quarter in 2019.

“We continue to expect fluctuations in volumes as we emerge from COVID restrictions, which we will need to manage accordingly,” Chairman Keith Williams said in a statement.

Royal Mail said in a statement that the rate at which UK parcel volumes were falling was increasing across the quarter.

The company refrained from providing an annual forecast for its UK business, citing uncertainties as it starts to “unwind from the impact of the pandemic”. It maintained its full-year forecast for GLS, its worldwide ground-based parcel network.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Royal Mail, Real Estate Stocks Pull Ftse 250 Higher; Amigo Sinks

By Devik Jain

The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index advanced 0.3% with Royal Mail climbing 5.9% to the top of the index after Peel Hunt upgraded the stock to “buy” from “hold”.

Real estate stocks and real estate investment trusts also jumped, providing the biggest boost to the index.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index edged 0.1% lower as a stronger pound weighed on large dollar-earning consumer staples companies including British American Tobacco, Diageo and Imperial Brands. [GBP=]

However, losses on the index were limited by industrial software company Aveva, which gained 5% after saying it was confident about the year ahead as the business environment had improved in most of its major markets.

“We’re in a kind of sideways pattern since April and looking sort of beyond company results in the UK, and at the macro picture as the driving force,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com.

“The risk for the FTSE 100 would be that even if Europe and America emerge from the pandemic this summer, it’s going to take longer in emerging markets. There’s a decent amount of growth element in some of these UK names like miners, oil, consumer staples, which rely on emerging markets for further growth.”

After rising 9.1% in the first four months of this year on recovery optimism, the FTSE 100 has traded in a tight range in the past few sessions on concerns that a resurgence of COVID-19 cases across parts of Asia might delay a global economic recovery.

Subprime lender Amigo tumbled 51.7% after a court refused to sanction a proposed rescue plan to manage its large backlog of redress claims.

Among other stocks, AstraZeneca fell 0.7% after Britain’s competition regulator said it was reviewing the drugmaker’s $39 billion buyout of U.S.-based Alexion.

(Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

Royal Mail Withholds Forecast as Parcel Demand Tapers after Strong Year

While annual revenue topped expectations, the postal company’s profit slightly missed estimates as it dealt with higher costs to cater to the surge in parcel volumes.

Royal Mail said its parcel volumes in the UK were down 2% last month, compared with the surge in online shopping in April 2020 when the first lockdown was in place.

The British company witnessed its fortunes turn last year as the pandemic, which forced shut brick-and-mortar stores and caused a surge in online shopping, came as a boon to its home delivery service and struggling UK business.

“As the outlook for 2021-22 contains a number of uncertainties that could significantly influence volumes and costs it is difficult to provide specific guidance for 2021-22 for Royal Mail,” Chairman Keith Williams said.

The company, one of the world’s oldest postal firms, reported a 116% surge in adjusted operating profit to 702 million pounds ($990.59 million), and a 17% jump in revenue to 12.64 billion pounds.

Analysts on average had estimated adjusted group operating profit of 704 million pounds and revenue of 12.58 billion pounds, according to a company-compiled consensus.

($1 = 0.7087 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)