UPDATE 1-Royal Mail lifts profit forecast as advertising, business mail recovers

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March 10 (Reuters) - Britain’s Royal Mail raised its annual profit forecast on Wednesday, citing stronger-than-expected advertising, business and stamped mail volumes this year.

The postal firm last month forecast annual profit ahead of market expectations as COVID-19 restrictions pushed parcel delivery demand to record levels and Christmas mail eased a slide in letter volumes.

While parcel growth remained in line with its expectations, letter volumes that have seen a steady fall in recent years, were better than anticipated, Royal Mail said.

The company also said that charges relating to its management restructuring program would be about 50 million pounds lower than its original estimate.

Royal Mail, one of the oldest postal companies in the world, now expects 2020-21 profit to be around 700 million pounds compared with 500 million pounds it had forecast earlier.

$1 = 0.7201 pounds Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi