U.S. Postal Service Ends 2009 with $3.8 Billion Loss

WASHINGTON, DC—Nov. 16, 2009—The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) today filed its 2009 fiscal year-end financial results, showing a net loss of $3.8 billion for the year — despite cost-cutting efforts resulting in $6 billion in cost savings and a $4 billion reduction in required payments for retiree health benefits. Cost savings reflect a reduction of 40,000 career USPS employees as well as reductions in overtime hours, transportation and other costs. The $4 billion reduction in required retiree health benefit payments was passed into law for fiscal 2009 to allow USPS to maintain fiscal solvency while continuing to provide universal, affordable service to the nation.

Details of 2009 results include:

• Operating revenue of $68.1 billion, compared to $74.9 billion in 2008;

• Operating expenses of $71.8 billion, compared to $77.7 billion in 2008;

• Net loss of $ 3.8 billion, compared to $2.8 billion in 2008; and

• Total mail volume of 177.1 billion pieces, compared to 202.7 billion pieces in 2008, a decline of more than 25 billion pieces, or 12.7 percent.

“Our 2009 fiscal year proved to be one of the most challenging in the history of the Postal Service,” said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Corbett. “The deep economic recession, and to a lesser extent the ongoing migration of mail to electronic alternatives, significantly affected all mail products, creating a large imbalance between revenues and costs.”

Corbett said that USPS responded aggressively to unprecedented mail volume declines and the ongoing recession. “We undertook comprehensive cost-cutting measures across all areas of the organization,” he said. “Most notably, we reduced work hours by 115 million, or the equivalent of 65,000 full-time employees — a larger number than the entire workforce at more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies today.”

Several significant accruals in the year increased the 2009 net loss by $1.7 billion but did not affect current year cash flow: