January 8, 2013 / 8:22 AM / 5 years ago

UK Mail Group third-quarter sales rise on Christmas volumes

(Reuters) - Parcel delivery company UK Mail Group Plc UKM.L said trading in the third quarter exceeded its expectations, boosted by higher volumes during Christmas.

UK Mail, the largest independent parcels, mail and logistics services company in the UK, said underlying revenue increased about 8 percent for the three-month period ended December 31, after adjusting for an increase in prices by state-owned Royal Mail, and an extra working day.

Volumes from its parcel business rose 20 percent, partly driven by an increase in internet shopping-related home deliveries, said the company, which has a national network of more than 55 sites and 2,500 vehicles.

“The group has maintained high service levels during the busy Christmas period, which must have helped,” Investec Securities analyst John Lawson said and raised his price target on the company’s stock to 350 pence from 300 pence.

The mail business, which makes up more than half of the company’s overall revenue, achieved “good revenue growth”, helped by strong customer retention and new customer wins.

Shares in UK Mail, which rose about 36 percent in the past year, were up 3 percent at 331.75 pence at 8:06 a.m. British time on the London Stock Exchange.

Reporting By Shilpa Hinduja in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel

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