Britain's Royal Mail to increase rates in April 2007

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Britain's Royal Mail confirmed yesterday that the price of a British First Class stamp for a standard letter weighing up to 100 grams will rise by 3.9 cents (2 pence) to 66.2 cents (34 pence) beginning April 2007, under a new pricing regime reflecting the size as well as the weight of letters.

The price of a First Class stamp for a large letter up to 100g will rise by 7.8 cents to 93.5 cent. Second Class stamp rates for a standard letter up to 100g will rise by 1.9 cents to 46.8 cents and for a large letter up to 100g the increase is 5.8 cents to 77.9 cents.

The price of British business mail services will rise at a lesser rate than stamped mail. First Class franked mail and items carrying a printed postage impression will have a 3.9 cents discount for items up to 100 g. The same discount will also apply to Second Class franked and PPI mail.

For the first time, international franked mail will attract a discount compared to the price of international stamped mail. At the basic 20g weight step, a franked item sent from Britan to Europe will cost 91.5 cents, against 93.6 cents for a stamped letter.

Prices will continue to decrease for heavier weight items, which will support the growth of the online retail market. Royal Mail is also offering business customers discounts for machineable mail, and the thresholds for volume discounts have been lowered for some business mail services to enable more customers to benefit.

Royal Mail said that now that the British mail market is open to full competition, it is essential the postal service's prices more closely reflect the true cost of collecting, sorting and delivering around 80 million items of mail a day to 27 million addresses across Britain.

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