Royal Mail to increase price of first-class stamps to £1.35

Royal Mail is to increase the price of stamps again next month.

The troubled delivery giant said the price of first-class stamps will increase by 10p to £1.35 and second-class stamps will go up by 10p to 85p.

A year ago, a first-class stamp cost 95p before being hiked to £1.10 in April 2023, ahead of another 15p increase in October last year.

The rise comes after warnings by the loss-making firm over the impact of higher costs and lower demand for letters.

Royal Mail said the price increase will come into force on April 2.

Last year, industry regulator Ofcom said increases to the price of second-class stamps would be capped at the rate of inflation until 2029 in an effort to keep the sending of letters affordable.

Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail, said: “We always consider price changes very carefully but we face a situation where letter volumes have reduced dramatically over recent years while costs have increased.

“It is no longer sustainable to maintain a network built for 20 billion letters when we are now only delivering seven billion.

“As a result of letter volume decline, our posties now have to walk more than three times as far to deliver the same number of letters as before, increasing the delivery costs per letter.”

The increase comes just over a month after Ofcom said Royal Mail could be allowed to cut its letter deliveries to five days a week or three, as it warned the UK postal service risked becoming “unsustainable” without reform.

Royal Mail, which is owned by International Distributions Services (IDS), recorded a £419 million loss in its previous financial year, while it was also fined £5.6 million last year for failing to meet its delivery targets.