The Postal Service reported a net profit of $307 million in the first quarter of 2016, a significant milestone for the agency which has suffered from heavy financial losses for the past several years.
The profit represents a change of $1.1 billion from the net loss of $754 million for the same period last year. The change in net income was most significantly impacted by a $1.2 billion favorable change in the workers’ compensation expense as a result of interest rate changes.
Q1 revenue came in at $19.3 billion, an increase of $613 million or 3.3 percent over the same period last year. The increase was driven by the record volume of packages delivered during the 2015 holiday season. The first quarter is typically the strongest quarter of the fiscal year for the Postal Service.
“Shipping and Package revenue grew 13.5 percent over the same period last year, and was particularly strong during the holiday shipping season. We projected and delivered more than a 16 percent increase in package volume,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan J. Brennan. “We continue to grow our e-commerce business and remain focused on delivering the best value for our customers.”
Postal officials cautioned, however, that they expect more heavy losses in the coming months because of mandated benefit payments for Postal employees.
According to Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett, “Excluding the favorable impact of interest rate changes and the exigent surcharge, the organization would have actually reported a net loss of approximately $700 million in the first quarter. Absent legislative reform, the exigent surcharge is expected to roll back in April, and our losses will increase by approximately $2 billion per year.”