Postal Updates

By Michael Baadke

Financial losses continue for U.S. Postal Service

February 06, 2015 12:20 PM

On Feb. 6, the United States Postal Service announced financial results for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2015.

The Postal Service suffered a net loss of $754 million during the first fiscal quarter. That’s in comparison to a $354 million loss during the same quarter last year.

Despite this, both chief financial officer Joseph Corbett and Postmaster General Megan Brennan found some encouragement in the reported results.

Total revenue increased from nearly $18 billion in the fiscal first quarter last year to more than $18.7 billion in the same quarter this year.

Increases in the Postal Service’s shipping business and advertising mail are two indicators that the executives point to as positives.

“Very encouraging to see the growth in advertising mail,” Brennan told reporters during a telephone conference after the results were announced.

Corbett also expects the Postal Service to see an increase in cash this year.

The Postal Service has benefitted from the exigent rate increase that raised the price of a letter-rate stamp to 49¢ at the beginning of 2014.

The PRC granted the increase “to offset losses suffered as a result of the Great Recession of 2008-2009.”

However, the report accompanying the announced results pointed out that “Cash balances remain insufficient to support an organization with approximately $73 billion in annual operating expenses.”

Corbett added that if the Postal Regulatory Commission seeks to end the exigent rate increase, the Postal Service has plans to appeal that decision.

The postmaster general also noted that while first-class mail continues to decline, at a rate of 1.1 percent in the first quarter, she characterized it as a “slower rate of decline.”

Corbett stated that expenses that cannot be controlled, including required prefunding of retiree health benefits, contribute to a financial situation that continues to deteriorate.

The Postal Service has incurred cumulative financial losses of $52.5 billion since 2007, according to the report.

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