WASHINGTON D.C.: After reporting a net loss of US$6.5 billion for the 12 months ending September 30, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) said it will not breakeven next year as its sales of first-class mail fell to the lowest level since 1968.
Despite increasing stamp prices, its revenue fell 0.4 percent to $78.2 billion, the service added.
The loss includes $2.6 billion in inflation costs "above what we projected and what we were able to recover. We are not happy with this result," said U.S. Postmaster-General Louis DeJoy.
The USPS is in the middle of a 10-year restructuring plan announced in 2021, which set a goal to breakeven in 2023 and aimed to eliminate $160 billion in predicted losses over the next decade.
USPS has reduced the $160 billion in losses projected in 2021 "to less than $60 billion," DeJoy said, adding, "Despite substantial planned reductions in our cost of operations and growth in our package revenues, we will not reach breakeven results in 2024."
For the year, USPS's total operating expenses totaled $85.4 billion, a rise of $5.8 billion or 7.3 percent. To preserve liquidity, it did not make the full $5.1 billion in retirement plan payments due, the service said.
In April 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden signed legislation providing USPS with financial relief worth some $50 billion over a decade.
In October, USPS said it asked approval to raise the price of first-class stamps to 68 cents from 66 cents effective on January 21. Since early 2019 when they were 50 cents, stamp prices have risen 32 percent over the past four years.