USPS reports flat revenue and net loss of US$2.3bn in Q3 2019

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USPS has published its third-quarter fiscal 2019 results, which reveal the post reported a total revenue of US$17.1bn – an increase of US$16m, which the post has described as “essentially flat” – and a net loss of nearly US$2.3bn for the period April 1-June 30, 2019.

First-Class Mail revenue declined by US$98m (1.6%) on a volume decline of 361 million pieces compared with the same quarter last year. Marketing Mail revenue declined by US$121m (3%) on a volume decline of 878 million pieces compared with the same quarter last year, while periodicals revenue declined by US$38m (11.2%) on a volume decline of 173 million pieces compared with the same quarter last year. 

However, USPS saw shipping and packages revenue increase by US$250m, or 4.8%, compared with the same quarter last year, despite volumes declining by 47 million pieces, or 3.2%.

Total operating expenses were US$19.3bn for the quarter, an increase of US$797m (4.3%), compared with the same quarter last year.

“We continue to face imbalances in our business model that must be fixed through legislative and regulatory change. As we work to effectuate that change, we continue our ongoing aggressive management actions, and remain focused on delivering for the American public, and meeting their evolving business and residential needs,” said postmaster general and chief executive officer Megan J Brennan. “We are actively adapting to changes throughout the mailing and shipping landscape, providing customers with new solutions that add value for their investment, improve the service we provide, and drive internal efficiencies.”

Brennan added that the postal service’s largely fixed and mandated costs continue to rise at a faster rate than the revenues that can be generated within a constrained business model, which is ill-suited to ensure the long-term sustainability of the USPS.

The net loss for the quarter totaled nearly US$2.3bn, an increase of US$767m, compared with a net loss of nearly US$1.5bn for the same quarter last year. Controllable loss for the quarter was nearly US$1.1bn, compared with a controllable loss of $889m for the same quarter last year.

“We continue to focus on maximizing productivity,” said chief financial officer and executive vice president Joseph Corbett. “While many of our network costs are fixed to meet our universal service obligations, we reduced work hours by approximately 1.7 million relative to the same quarter last year.”

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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