MARKET REPORT: Investors back Royal Mail move to offer delivery slots


Shareholders cheered Royal Mail’s decision to keep up with heavyweight rivals such as Amazon by allowing customers to choose delivery time slots.

It will let customers pay more to send and receive letters and parcels at specific times and on specific days.

The company is in the process of putting together a ‘good, better and best’ three-tier system for its deliveries.

Royal Mail is in the process of putting together a three-tier system which will allow customers pay more to send and receive letters and parcels at specific times and on specific days

Royal Mail is in the process of putting together a three-tier system which will allow customers pay more to send and receive letters and parcels at specific times and on specific days

Choosing ‘good’ means customers would allow Royal Mail decide the delivery, the more expensive ‘better’ tier will give customers control over dates, while ‘best’ will probably be dates and times.  

Investors backed the idea and Royal Mail shot to the top of the FTSE 100 index, up 1.4 per cent, or 8.4p, to 599.4p. 

Royal Mail is using the money it has made during the pandemic to shake up its business and compete against peers such as Amazon.

Profit more than doubled to £702million last year as lockdowns and restrictions drove a surge in online shopping. 

Stock Watch – Filtronic 

Filtronic shot to the top of the AIM All-Share index after brokers at Edison published a research note about the company, which makes hi-tech radio-frequency kit.

Leeds-based Filtronic manufactures parts for wireless telecoms groups and is benefiting from the rollout of 5G in the UK.

Edison did not give Filtronic’s stock a rating.

But it said in the research note that it is a ‘highly unusual’ company due to the fact that it has such an extensive range of engineers, designers and equipment.

Shares rose 18.1 per cent , or 1.85p, to 12.1p.

 

The wider market also started the week on the front foot, with the FTSE 100 rising 0.1 per cent, or 8.18 points, to 7077.22, and the FTSE 250 by 0.3 per cent, or 75.33 points, to 22,908.06.

BT was the top blue-chip riser, jumping 3.7 per cent, or 6.5p, to 183.5p, after announcing it will start a business division that will give customers working from home enterprise-grade internet connections and extra support.

The telecoms giant was also given a leg-up by bankers at Jefferies, who lifted the target price on its stock to 260p, up from 24p.

Beleaguered travel stocks inched higher after a torrid end to last week when the UK removed Portugal from its ‘green’ travel list and refused to add any other countries, prompting many investors to head straight for the exit.

British Airways-owner IAG rose 2.8 per cent, or 5.46p, to 201.8p, while Easyjet climbed 3.1 per cent, or 29.2p, to 963.2p, and Wizz Air by 0.8 per cent, or 37p, to 4570p.

Housebuilders were also in demand after data from Halifax showed house prices rose to yet another record high in May to an average of £261,743.

Persimmon (up 2.7 per cent, or 85p, to 3236p), Barratt Developments (up 1.7 per cent, or 12.6p, to 768.4p), Taylor Wimpey (up 1.1 per cent, or 1.96p, to 173.35p) and Vistry (up 1.4 per cent, or 7.5p, to 1318p) were all among the winners.

But estate agent Foxtons suffered after it emerged it is facing an investor revolt from its biggest backer. Jeremy Hosking, the boss of Hosking Partners, which has an 11.2 per cent stake, has written to chairman Ian Barlow calling for ‘board-level change’ following a share price slump since the pandemic hit and expressing his dissatisfaction at hefty bonuses given to chief executive Nic Budden.

Shares lagged 1 per cent, or 0.6p, to 59p. It was a poor day for miners as the shine came off metals prices following disappointing economic data from China.

Anglo American dipped 2.7 per cent, or 88.43p, to 3153p, as a coal business it spun off into a separate listed entity, Thungela, dived from 150p on its first day of trading to 113p by the close. 

Short-seller Boatman Capital Research has branded Thungela’s South African coal mines ‘worthless’ and accused Anglo of greenwashing.

Tesco brushed off news that the supermarket giant will not renew a three-year alliance with French peer Carrefour on December 31. 

Tesco, whose shares rose 0.3pc, or 0.6p, to 225.6p, denied Brexit had any impact on the decision.

The deal was meant to cut prices for shoppers and expand the range of own-label products.

Clipper Logistics, on the other hand, secured an extension for a contract with retail giant Asos – up 2 per cent, or 98p, to 5044p – to deliver its wares in Europe. Clipper rose 0.8 per cent, or 6p, to 784p, and said that profits were likely to rise by 53 per cent to £32million.

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