Postal Service posts $456M November net loss

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The US Postal Service ran a net loss of $456 million in November, while its operating revenue, mail volume and work hours all increased at the start of the holiday season.

The organization's operating revenue increased 0.7% in the month, compared to the same period last year, to $5.7 billion, according to preliminary financial numbers provided by the Postal Regulatory Commission.

After losing $8.5 billion last year, the USPS lost $173 million in the first two months of its 2011 fiscal year, which began October 1. Operating revenue increased 0.1% year-over-year for the two-month period to more than $11.7 billion.

However, the USPS has seen improved mail volumes during the two-month period. In November, total mail volume increased 3.4% compared to the prior year to 14.9 billion pieces. The USPS has improved its total mail volume by 4.3% for the first two months of the year to 31.2 billion pieces.

Although the USPS has cut employee work hours as part of its plan to reestablish financial stability at the organization, it saw work hours increase 1.4% year-over-year in November to 94 million. For the first two months of FY 2011, work hours were down 2.5% to 192 million.

The Postal Service is waiting for the opinion of the PRC on its plans to move to a five-day-per-week home delivery schedule. It is projecting a loss of $6.4 billion for FY 2011 if Congress does not change the retiree health prefunding payment schedule that costs it billions per year.

The USPS said it does not comment on the monthly unaudited numbers provided by the PRC, its oversight body.  

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