Postal Service sees $179M profit for December 2009, but net loss for quarter

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The US Postal Service earned a profit of $179 million last December. However, it lost $297 million during the first quarter of its 2010 fiscal year, which ended December 31, 2009.

Last year, the USPS reported a net loss of $255 million for November, and a $476 million total net loss for the first two months of fiscal 2010. The agency saw a net loss of $3.8 billion for its 2009 fiscal year, which ended September 30.

Yvonne Yoerger, spokeswoman for the USPS, said that the agency is pleased by the profit but conscious of continuing financial difficulties.

“While we think it's an indication that things are starting to turn up, unfortunately for us the economic drivers that affect mail volumes the most, unemployment and investment, appear to be lagging,” she said. “So we are still foreseeing for the year a continuing loss of mail volume.”

Yoerger added that December is “always one of the top months because of Christmas and other mailing holidays.”

The USPS is required by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act to provide quarterly and annual financial reports to the Postal Regulatory Commission, an oversight body.

The Postal Service is considering a number of options to cut costs, including closing or consolidating branches. It is considering the fate of 162 offices across the country.

The agency is also planning to press Congress to allow it to cut delivery to five days per week. The USPS says the service cut would save it about $3 billion per year.

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