StockMarketWire.com - Royal Mail has reported its busiest ever quarter for parcels, driving group revenues up 20% on the previous year.

The group reported a total of 11.7 million parcels were delivered on its busiest day, but increased absence rates due to COVID-19 impacted on service quality.

Group revenue for the nine months to December 2020 was £9,312m, up 13.5% on the equivalent nine months in 2019.

Keith Williams, non-executive Chair, commented: 'The third quarter saw unprecedented parcel volumes in Royal Mail, driven by online shopping and the peak Christmas period, with 496 million parcels handled, the busiest in our company's long history. The decline in addressed letter volumes slowed to 14% in Q3, with a decline of 9% in December, compared to around a third earlier in the year, excluding the impact of elections.'

The group reported that Royal Mail revenue growth of 9.3% was stronger than anticipated and the highest since privatisation in 2013, with parcel revenue growth more than offsetting the decline in letters.

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