Overall revenue for the period was up 12.5% to £3.16 billion, up from £2.81 billion year-on-year. There was no guidance on full year performance for the UK business and the GLS logistics arm remained in line with previous forecasts.
Compared to two years earlier, in the first half of the 2019 financial year, revenue had risen 20%. Parcel volumes fell 13% year-on-year, though parcel revenue increased 3.4%.
Addressed letter volumes, excluding elections, rose 22% and total letter revenue rose 26%.
'The first quarter saw a strong revenue performance across the group, with both Royal Mail and GLS reporting higher revenues than the prior year,' chairman Keith Williams said.
'We are starting to see evidence that the domestic parcel market is re-basing to a higher level than pre-pandemic, as consumers continue to shop online,' we added.
Dan Nuttall, analyst at research firm Third Bridge, commented: ‘Overall structural letter decline continues compared to 2019, but there is a nice jump from last year as businesses reopen compared to the same period last year.
‘Any decline in volumes in parcels has been more than offset by pricing increases, showing lasting benefits for Royal Mail of delivering last year under tough conditions when we all wanted home delivery.’