Postal Service sees $611M February net loss

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The financially struggling US Postal Service ran a net loss of $611 million for February, and a net loss of $1.5 billion for the first five months of its 2010 fiscal year, according to data provided by the Postal Regulatory Commission on March 25.

The USPS' total volume for last month was nearly 13 billion pieces. It has moved more than 72.6 billion pieces for the first five months of its fiscal year. 

The PRC released the data days before the USPS will present its official plan for moving to a five-day delivery schedule. The agency's board of governors approved the plan this week.

The USPS saw a net loss of $592 million for January, according to data released by the PRC earlier this month. The USPS mailed 13.9 billion pieces during January.

However, for last December, the USPS earned a profit of $179 million, which agency officials attributed to holiday mailing. The Postal Service saw a net loss of $297 million during the fiscal first quarter of 2010, which ran from October 1 through the end of December 2009.

For FY 2009, the Postal Service reported a net loss of $3.8 billion, $1 billion more than its net loss for its 2008 fiscal year.

The USPS has taken a number of steps to rectify its financial situation, unveiling a 10-year plan to stabilize its finances in early March. The plan includes the transition to a five-day-per-week delivery schedule, as well as an exigent price increase that exceeds its inflation-based price cap in 2011.

While unveiling the plan, John Potter, postmaster general and CEO of the USPS, predicted that mail volume could fall by as much as 27 billion pieces in the next decade to an all-time low of 150 billion pieces in 2020. Potter also warned that if the agency did not rectify its financial shortcomings, it would see a cumulative shortfall of $238 billion in the next 10 years.

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