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Monday, 13 December, 1999, 18:15 GMT
Cost of first class stamps to rise

post The Post Office blames the rise on falling profits


The cost of first class stamps is to rise for the first time in nearly four years next April, going up by 1p to 27p, the Royal Mail has announced.

Second class stamps, which are put on 58% of the 77m letters posted every day, will remain at 19p.

Post Office chief executive John Roberts said the price rise was caused by falling profits.

"Our half year results for 1999-2000 showed that the Post Office's pre-tax profit without exceptional charges had fallen by almost a third to 185m, with the impact of the price freeze being a significant factor."


Second class stamps will remain 19p
The price rises will come into force on 3 April 2000 and will include increases of 2p for heavier first and second class letters.

The Royal Mail's special delivery service, which guarantees next day delivery, will increase by an average of 4.8%.

The cost of posting mail to European countries will rise from 34p to 36p, while airmail, surface European and prices for the rest of the world will increase by 3.9%.

Stamp prices were last increased in June 1996 when first class letters went up to 26p from 25p and second class mail rose by 1p to 20p.

The cost of posting second class letters was cut to 19p in April of this year.

Richard Dykes, group managing director of mail services said the price rise were "as low as possible".

He added that postal prices in the UK were among the lowest in Europe.

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See also:
30 Nov 99 |  Business
Post Office goes into red
17 Nov 99 |  The Company File
New freedom for Post Office

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