Royal Mail delivered 177 million more parcels in the five months to 30 August 2020 than it did in the same period last year, a volume increase of 34%.
The B2C and e-commerce rise in parcel volumes during lockdown had also driven first half turnover up 33.1% but Royal Mail said that the volume shift had increased costs by £85 million.
The additional operational costs associated with increased parcel volumes came in conjunction with £75 million in Covid-19 related safety costs, including increased levels of staff absence, social distancing and additional protective equipment.
Some 1.1 billion fewer letters were delivered in the five month period , which led to a 28% fall in volumes and a 21.5% fall in associated revenues. Overall total revenue was up £139 million.
Last week Royal Mail was appointed by Moonpig to deliver the majority of their gifts across the UK.