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USPS finances

Third-quarter results announced

Employee carrying packages
Third-quarter revenue from the Postal Service’s shipping and packages business grew compared to the same period last year.

The Postal Service has reported its financial results for fiscal 2017’s third quarter (April 1-June 30, 2017). Here are some highlights:

• Total revenue. The organization’s total third-quarter revenue was $16.7 billion. This is essentially unchanged from the same period last year, excluding the effect of a $1.1 billion non-cash change in accounting estimate recognized during 2016 due to revised data on consumer behavior and usage patterns of Forever stamps.

• First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail revenue. Revenue from First-Class Mail decreased $422 million compared to the same period last year, while revenue from Marketing Mail dropped $150 million. Both declines were due mostly to lower volumes.

• Shipping. The declines in First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail revenues were nearly offset by continued growth in the shipping and packages business. Third-quarter revenue from this part of the Postal Service’s business increased 11.3 percent from the same period last year.

• Operating expenses. The Postal Service’s third-quarter operating expenses were $18.8 billion, a 2.4 percent decrease from the same period last year.

Expenses for retiree health benefits and workers compensation declined by $869 million and $1 billion, respectively, but were partially offset by $1.2 billion in higher expenses for supplemental pension benefits, largely driven by changes in Office of Personnel Management actuarial assumptions and interest rates.

• Net loss. The third-quarter net loss was $2.1 billion, an increase in net loss of $573 million compared to the same period last year. A net loss occurs when an organization’s total expenses exceed its total revenue.

“The growth in our lower-margin package business is not sufficient to make up for the accelerating mail volume declines,” said PMG Megan J. Brennan. “Our financial situation is serious, but solvable. The continuation of aggressive management actions, and legislative and regulatory reform, will return us to financial stability and enable the Postal Service to maintain the long-term affordability of mail, invest in America’s mailing and shipping industry, and best serve the American public.”

For more information about the third-quarter financial results, read the Postal Service’s Aug. 10 news release.

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