The UK’s only listed postal firm has revealed a 10 per cent rise in profits – as the privatisation of Royal Mail started in earnest.
Birmingham-based UK Mail said that a strong increase in parcel deliveries had resulted in good trading in the half-year to September 30.
Group revenues for the first half are expected to show an increase of some seven per cent on the same period last year.
The parcel trading performance beat market expectations and resulted in upgrades to forecasts. Full-year, pre-tax profits are now expected to be 10 per cent higher, at £22 million, which sent shares up by more than four per cent, to 595p, following the announcement.
In said in a trading statement the firm said: “Our parcels business continued to deliver a strong performance, with average daily volumes for the half increasing by some 25 per cent compared to the same period last year.”
UK Mail also said discussions were ongoing about plans to relocate its offices to allow for the high-speed rail line.
The announcement came as it emerged Royal Mail is to be valued at between £2.6 billion and £3.3 billion.
The Department for Business said the business would list on the London Stock Exchange next month.
Ten per cent of the shares, which will be priced between 260p and 330p, will go to employees, with between 40 and 52.2 per cent of the Government’s remaining stake being sold.